After taking an 11-9 lead into halftime, the Lady Bulldogs held a tenuous 16-15 lead late in the third quarter, before pulling away down the stretch and outscoring Richland 12-4 the rest of the way to claim the nine-point victory.
"Hopefully this win will boost our confidence going into next week. We won two out of three games this week and are improving," said CMS coach Joy McMasters. "It was a tight game tonight and it was good to see us finish the game strong."
Richland did outrebound CMS 33-27 overall, but the Lady Bulldogs held a 15-12 edge on the offensive glass and committed 11 fewer turnovers (29-18) than the Lady Raiders.
Point guard Madison Hopkins turned in a solid all-around performance for CMS, as she tallied a game high nine points, five assists, five steals, and four rebounds.
Brooke Defoe followed Hopkins with seven points, six rebounds, and four steals, while Kennedy Wilson added six points and five rebounds. Carly Salsman and Samantha Prosser chipped in four and two points respectively as well for Cornersville with Prosser notching five rebounds and four steals.
"We reduced our turnovers and increased our shot attempts. I thought we were anticipating passes better tonight and working better as a unit," said McMasters. "Madison hit two big three-pointers for us and her shooting has improved."
Cora Henson paced Richland with seven points, while Madison Atchley and Callyn Grace Schmidt scored five and three points respectively. Mary Taylor Lee and Savannah Alsup also had two points for the Lady Raiders.
Richland inched out to a 4-3 lead late in the first quarter but the Lady Bulldogs rattled off seven straight points on a short jumper by Defoe, a Hopkins trey, and a Wilson layup to seize a 10-4 advantage early in the second period.
After closing the second quarter with a 5-1 spurt to narrow the gap to 11-9 at the break, the Lady Raiders tied the game at 11-11 early in the third quarter on a jumper by Henson.
CMS tallied the next four points thanks to a Wilson layup and an offensive put back by Defoe to pull ahead 15-11 midway through the third, but Richland sliced the deficit to 16-15 late in the period with the help of a Henson free throw and a three by Schmidt.
Hopkins, though, swung the momentum back in Cornersville's favor by nailing a trey from the right wing in the waning moments of the third quarter to push CMS' lead to 19-15 before Defoe hit a short bank shot midway through the fourth to make it 21-15.
Henson scored three straight points to close the gap to 21-18, but Salsman knocked down four clutch free throws before Defoe made one-of-two foul shots to stake the Lady Bulldogs to a 26-18 advantage with :47 remaining.
After Henson hit one-of-two free throws to trim the deficit to 26-19, Wilson scored on a layup with :26 left to seal Cornersville's 28-19 victory.