WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Women’s basketball team traveled to Frankfort, KY this past week in hopes of bringing home a National Championship as they competed in the NAIA Division I National Championships. Their motto “Work for Tuesday” fell short in the first round of action as the #8 seeded Patriots were defeated by #1 seeded Westmont College Warriors 63-58.
The Patriots hung on tight, keeping within striking range the entire game. Trailing by 1 point at halftime, the Patriot ladies came out firing on all cylinders, taking a slight lead early in the second half. However, a 14-4 run by Westmont allowed them to pull away and the Warriors proved to be too much to handle in the post earning a victory over UC 63-58.
The Patriots were led by Jessica Upchurch (Stanford, KY) who posted an impressive double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, 5 of which were on the offensive end of the court. Erica Lane (Knoxville, TN) chipped in 10 points and 4 rebounds while Mid-South Conference Freshman of the Year Ashley Mullins added 8 points and 6 rebounds. Westmont was led by potential NAIA Player of the Year Tuche Canitez with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists.
While the Patriots’ season ended earlier than expected, the ladies are proud of the hard work, effort, and dedication put in by the players and coaching staff throughout the season. Losing three key seniors in Dace Bicane (Riga, Latvia), Vernisha Moss (Nassau, Bahamas), and Stephanie Salyers (Somerset, KY), the Patriot ladies have a lot of work to do in the offseason to prepare for next year and are already are excited to get back on the court.