Cumberland women fall at home 77-64

Jan. 31—Shawnee State's trio of Tanisia Murphy, Marnae Holland and Kam Elzy combined for 60 points to defeat Cumberland's women 77-64 at the Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena last Saturday afternoon.

Cumberland (11-11, 7-10 Mid-South Conference) battled the whole game but struggled to score in the final minutes of play to fall behind big late.

The Phoenix shot 39.7% from the floor while draining five 3s in the game. Cumberland won the battle in the paint, outscoring the Bears 30-22 down low.

Keara Sexton was the lone Phoenix scorer with double-digits, scoring 14 points while collecting five assists and two rebounds. Jana Claire Swafford and Myajae Eubanks recorded eight points off the bench.

Shawnee State shot an impressive 48.4% from the floor with three different scorers reaching double figures.

Murphy's 26-point performance led the Bears the whole way. She shot 50% from the floor and added five boards. Holland scored 19 points and Elzy recorded a double-double with 15 points and 14 assists.

The Phoenix got off to a hot start in the first quarter, building an early 9-4 lead on three layups followed up by a 3 from Abby Morgan. The Phoenix held onto their lead until midway through the quarter when the Bears made back-to-back 3s to take a 14-11 lead. Cumberland played from behind the rest of the quarter but Tierra Davis cut their deficit to 20-17 on a buzzer beater to end the period.

Swafford scored the first six Phoenix points of the second period to help retake the lead at 23-22. The Bears regained their lead with an 8-0 run before Lauren King shut it down with a huge 3. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the half but Murphy recorded a layup in the closing seconds to send Cumberland to the break trailing 40-35.

Cumberland got off to a slow start in the second half, falling behind by 10 points three minutes into the third. Sexton helped rally a 7-0 Phoenix run with a pair of free throws and a three to cut the Bears' lead to 49-46. Later in the quarter, Brittany Miller recorded back-to-back layups but the Phoenix still found themselves trailing 56-51 heading into the final quarter of play.

The Phoenix made their first four shots to start the fourth quarter but still found themselves trailing 66-60. Cumberland struggled the rest of the way only scoring four more points in the game to lose 77-64.

Cumberland will be back in action on the road this coming Saturday to take on Tennessee Southern in Pulaski to being a four-game road swing before the Feb. 18 season finale at home against Freed-Hardeman.