It wasn’t difficult for St. Catharine head coach Lena Bramblett to see where Thursday’s game got away from her team in a 78-61 loss to visiting University of the Cumberlands. With less than five minutes to go in the first half Cumberlands led by just two points. But when the horn sounded to signal intermission, Bramblett’s bunch was down 41-27.
“We never recovered from that five-minute span,” said Bramblett after her team fell to eighth ranked Cumberlands who improved to 17-1 overall and 7-0 in the Mid-South Conference.
St. Catharine (15-5, 2-5) did hang around through the early minutes of the second half as they trailed by 12 points. But another Cumberlands’ run, this one a 15-4 spurt, put them ahead by 23 points with 12 minutes to play. The closest St. Catharine got after that was the final 17 point margin.
“That is the difference between the first semester and this one,” added Bramblett. “Early in the year we were finding a way to beat the good teams and now we are not doing that. Right now we are just off as a team. Something is off but I guarantee by the next game we will give ourselves a chance to win.”
Lauren Wombles, who leads the conference in scoring with a 19 point average, led Cumberlands with 24 points. Jade Howard added 23 in the winning effort.
Janae Howard paced St. Catharine with 14 points but played only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. Jasmine Gibson had 10 and Kasei Evans tossed in nine points.
Cumberlands held a 36-30 rebounding edge as Howard, a point guard, grabbed six boards as did Haley Ratliff. Evans had five rebounds to lead St. Catharine on the boards.
St. Catharine shot 41 percent from the field including 4-13 from three point range. Cumberlands was 46 percent from the field and 5-15 from behind the arc.
“They are a good team, no doubt,” added Bramblett. “And this may be old school but I think if you can play with a team for ten minutes then you should be able to stay with them for 40 minutes. I am not happy with our team morale right now but we will get it fixed before Saturday.
On Saturday, Lindsey Wilson (14-6, 3-4) will visit Lourdes for a 2:00 tip-off. The Blue raiders were ranked 20th in the latest NAIA poll.