EKU women’s basketball team comes out on top in close Cumberlands matchup

Led by Bria Bass, the Colonel offense sprang to life in the second quarter.

Eastern Kentucky rallied from an early deficit and held off the University of the Cumberlands down the stretch for a 79-72 victory at McBrayer Arena on Friday afternoon.

EKU led the entire second half until the Patriots hit a three-pointer to go up 72-71 with 1:55 to go in the game. Two free throws from Alice Recanati put the Colonels back in front with 1:18 to play. From there, EKU’s defense held Cumberlands scoreless as the Colonels netted the game’s final eight points to claim the win.

Eastern opened the game cold, missing nine of its first 11 field-goal attempts. Four straight points from Jayla Johnson cut EKU’s deficit to 13-10, but the Patriots ended the first quarter on a 5-0 run to move ahead 18-10.

Led by Bria Bass, the Colonel offense sprang to life in the second quarter. Bass scored 11 consecutive points for EKU and poured in 17 points in the period. Bass’s fifth consecutive basket ignited a 15-0 EKU run as the Colonels erased a 33-22 deficit to take the lead, 37-33. Recanati closed the half with a three-point play to give EKU a 42-37 halftime lead.

Johnson led all scorers with a career-high 27 points and blocked four shots, while Bass tallied a career-high 26 points and added 14 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Recanati dished seven assists to go with her 15 points.

EKU opens ASUN play on Wednesday night as the Colonels host Central Arkansas at 7:00 p.m.

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