LEBANON, Tenn. - 1/21/2010 - The No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University Lady Bulldogs rallied late to survive an upset bid by Cumberland (Tenn.) University on Thursday night 69-63. Union improved to 19-1 on the season and 6-0 in league play. Cumberland dropped to 7-8 overall and 1-5 in the TranSouth.
Union led by 16 points in the first half, then trailed by four late in the second half, before getting the win. This victory extended their overall winning streak to 12 games and their TranSouth regular season winning streak to 41 games.
Union’s Kaitlin Dudley opened the game with a three pointer to get the Lady Bulldogs off and running. Union never trailed in the first half, and thanks to a 23-7 run midway through the half the Lady Bulldogs held their largest lead at 30-14 with 8:04 left. However, instead of letting Union put the game way, Cumberland rallied with a 15-5 run to cut the Union lead down to six points, 35-29 with 1:10 left in the half. Union went back up by eight points, before another Cumberland basket set the halftime score at 37-31.
The second half started with Union push their lead back to eight points at 41-33. Cumberland again refused to let Union run away as they have against so many opponents this season. Cumberland posted a 10-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from Brittany Cash to give Cumberland their first lead of 43-41 with 16:14 left in the game.
Union went back up 46-43, before another short run capped by another 3-pointer from Cash put Cumberland back up 48-46. Cumberland extended their lead to 52-48 and then 55-51 with 8:02 left, their largest of the game.
However, the Union team that posted just 34 percent shooting from the field, including 20 percent (5-24) from behind the arc started making shots. A 3-pointer from Union’s Kayla Hudson sparked an 11-0 run for the Lady Bulldogs, putting them up 62-55 with 5:21 left. Cumberland answered back with eight straight points to cut the lead down to just two points, 65-63 with 20 seconds left. However, Hudson and Dudley both sank a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the 69-63 win.
Union was led by Dudley and Sara Chan with 16 points each. Both Dudley and Chan recorded double-doubles by adding 11 and 12 rebounds respectively. Ashley Lillard added 10 points for Union. Hudson scored nine points. Dudley and Hudson combined to go just 3-of-19 from 3-point range. Union did make 20-of-26 free throws for 77 percent and out rebounded Cumberland 46-32 including 19-7 offensively.
Cumberland was led by Keshia Brown with 15 points. Cash scored 13 points, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Tamara Gonzalez and Allysia Bailey scored 12 and 11 points respectively. Cumberland shot 41 percent from the field, 39 percent (5-13) from 3-point range and 91 percent (10-11) from the free-throw line.
Up next for Union will be another road conference game on Saturday, January 23 at Blue Mountain (Miss.) at 2:00 p.m.
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