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Cumberland hands HU fourth straight loss

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – Facing their third nationally ranked team in four outings, the #25 HU women’s basketball team found themselves on the short end of a 76-69 decision against #19 Cumberland University (11-2) Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena.

The loss marks HU’s fourth consecutive as Coach Culler’s drops to 7-6. Based on the first quarter, it looked like the Foresters might snap their losing streak as they jetted out to a 17-8 advantage by the 2:04 mark behind a pair of long balls by Maddie Richer.

The lead dipped to five by quarter’s end but three minutes into the second, Miranda Palmer’s little baseline jumper gave HU its second and unfortunately last nine-point lead, 23-14. HU went stone cold after that to score just five more points the rest of the half as they watched their lead slip away when Jailen Murphy drained CU’s fifth long ball of the game to give the visitors their first advantage of 30-28 at the break.

Both teams jockeyed for the lead for the first five minutes of the third quarter. After seven lead changes and a second tie, the Phoenix finally made a move that lasted by scoring 13 of the next 15 points for a 52-41 advantage with 33 ticks left in the quarter.

The lead stood at ten points at the last break but with just over seven minutes remaining, the Foresters had filed the lead down to six at 55-49. But Cumberland fired right back with an 11-2 run to extend the lead to 15 points, the biggest disparity of the day.

HU made one last push that ended with a Palmer triple with 90 seconds remaining for a 71-64 difference. Huntington would get no closer as the seven-point spread stood until the final buzzer.

Palmer finished with a game-high 27 points to go along with a team-best five assists. Allyson Trout poured in 16 points while Sarah Fryman tallied 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Nicole Bowers and Murphy each recorded 18 points for the Phoenix. Janisha Lindsey added 16 and Julia Fox tallied ten.

Huntington connected on 24 of their 60 shots for a field goal percentage of .400 while the Phoenix went 25-for-62 for 40.3 percent. Cumberland won the battle of the boards 45-36 and committed 18 miscues to HU’s 16.

Next up for the Foresters is a trip to IU East on December 29 for a 7:00 p.m. matchup with the Red Wolves.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 254 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.