Lady Cougars Fall To Cumberlands
COLUMBIA - The Columbia College Lady Cougars gave the visiting University of Cumberlands Patriots all they could handle today, but just could not hold on for the victory as Columbia fell 74-69 in the Arena of Southwell Complex. The Lady Cougars, ranked No. 20 in the latest NAIA top 25 poll, drop to 8-4 on the season while the Patriots, ranked 15th in the poll, improve to 10-1 on the season.
Columbia held a slight edge at the intermission, leading 41-39 after shooting 45 percent from behind the arc and 40 percent from the field. The Lady Cougars drained one more field goal than the Patriots in the first frame, leading to the two-point advantage.
The Lady Cougars extended their lead to seven points with 13 minutes left to play in the contest. The Patriots posted a trio of defensive stops, and quickly closed down the gap. With 10 minutes on the clock, Cumberlands tied up the score at 56. It was the sixth tie of the game. The lead would change three more times, 16 total in the contest, before the Patriots took a three-point lead with just under four minutes left on the clock. In the remaining time, just one field goal between both teams would be made with the rest of the points coming in free-throws. That turned out to be the difference maker down the stretch as the Patriots sank six of the seven they attempted and the Lady Cougars connected on two of their four as Cumberlands walked away with the win.
Kirsti Wilkerson tied a career high with 21 points today. The senior also chipped in eight rebounds. Airelle Eldridge finished in double figures with 15 points and six rebounds and Heather English posted 13 points. Julie Teeple led the Lady Cougars on the boards with 11. Laure Wombles had 26 points to lead the Patriots.
Columbia returns to action on Monday, December 19th when they travel to Clinton, Iowa to take on Ashford (Iowa) University. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.