The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Women's basketball team extended their winning streak this past week defeating the University of Rio Grande on Thursday night 88-55 and the #14 nationally ranked Shawnee State Bears on Saturday 62-50. After struggling through multiple injuries throughout the month of January, the Patriot ladies have finally found their rhythm in February, winning four straight games and upsetting 3 Mid-South Conference (MSC) teams which were ranked or receiving votes in the Top 25 poll.
On Thursday night, the Patriots faced the Red Storm of Rio Grande on their home floor as they sported pink uniforms in support of breast cancer awareness in their annual "Think Pink" game. Although the ladies struggled to pull away in the first half of play against the Red Storm's aggressive defensive play, they managed to pull together as a team and put away Rio with power and emotion 88-55. Jill Herman (Powell, TN) tied her season high leading Cumberlands with 26 points and 6 assists, while Jackie Alexander (Brodhead, KY) chipped in an impressive 20 points and 8 rebounds of her own. Vernisha Moss (Nassau, Bahamas) and Dace Bicane (Riga Latvia) dominated the high-low post game adding 12 points apiece while controlling the offensive and defensive boards.
On Saturday night, the Patriots hosted possibly the biggest game of the season as three senior players stepped onto the O. Wayne Rollins Center for the last time in their careers on senior day against the Bears of Shawnee State University. Playing with passion and determination, the Patriots did not disappoint as they dominated the Bears 62-50. The Patriots once again demonstrated a balanced offensive attack as every player which dressed not only played but scored in the game. The Patriots were led by Bicane who put up 17 points while grabbing 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Erica Lane (Knoxville, TN) posted a strong 12 points and 8 rebounds of her own while Brooke Forsythe (Brunswick, OH) added 10 points in the paint.
The Patriots will look to carry on their winning streak and finish out the regular season strong on the road as they travel to Bluefield on Thursday and Cumberland University on Monday evening. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 6 pm.
For more information on the Patriot women's basketball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Stephanie Quattrociocchi, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant