Nashville --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team could not shake off a sluggish start in a 66-62 loss to Cumberland on Thursday.
TSU never led in the game against a feisty Cumberland team. The Lady Tigers put together a number of rallies down the stretch but the Bulldogs were able to keep them at bay.
Tennessee State (1-2) shot 30.3 percent from the field, including 28 percent (7-of-28) from long range. The Lady Tigers went 15-of-27 (55.6%) from the free-throw line and had 18 turnovers in the contest.
Cumberland (5-2) shot nearly 50 percent from the field and recorded five three-pointers in the game (35.7 percent). The Bulldogs also committed 30 turnovers in the game.
Much like the first two games of the season, TSU got off to a slow start and fell behind early. Cumberland knocked down shots and crashed the boards to help build an 11-2 lead at the 15:19 mark.
A three-pointer made the score 13-11 in favor of the visitors but consecutive buckets pushed the Cumberland lead back up to 18-11. The Lady Tigers pulled to within two but continued to get outplayed as the Bulldogs once again stretched the advantage to 29-22.
Cumberland carried a 31-22 lead into the halftime break.
Tennessee State committed 12 turnovers and only made seven field goals in the first half (7-of-28), for a dismal 25 percent. Cumberland, however, couldn't miss and knocked down 50 percent of its shots while only committing six turnovers.
In the second half, TSU continued to struggle. The Lady Tigers only managed one field goal in the first four minutes of the half. TSU once again rallied to within one but CU wouldn't go away. The Bulldogs built the lead back up to 46-39 with 8:51 remaining.
With 3:22 on the clock, Alana Morris connected with Jasmin Shuler to bring the Lady Tigers within one (53-52) but the Bulldogs answered with a run to move ahead 58-52 (2:41).
A put-back by Tayla Foster with 47 seconds left on the clock made Cumberland's lead 60-57 but Jessica Pace knocked down two free-throws to give the Bulldogs a 62-57 cushion.
With 14.5 seconds remaining and Cumberland leading, miscommunication led to TSU turning the ball over on a violation.
The Lady Tigers got the ball back on a steal on the inbounds play but their two shot attempts bounced off the rim. The Bulldogs hit a free-throw with four seconds on the clock to seal the win.
Cumberland was led by Yolanda Davis' 17 points while Casie Cowan added 16. Jessica Pace registered a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
The Lady Tigers have a short break before returning to action on Saturday against Jackson State. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. in the Gentry Center.