JACKSON, Tenn. - 12/15/2010 - No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University held off Evangel (Mo.) University 85-75 as both teams shot over 57 percent from the field. Union stays perfect at 13-0. Evangel, who is receiving votes in the latest poll, dropped to 4-5.
Union shot 57 percent from the field and 41 percent (9-22) from behind the arc. Evangel shot 60 percent from the field and 52 percent (11-21) from long range. Union shot 15 more times in the game and out-rebounded Evangel 33-17 in the contest. Union outscored Evangel 52-30 in the paint.
In the first half, Union jumped out to a quick 20-4 lead. However, Evangel shook off the slow start as they slowly rallied back into the game. Evangel came from 16 points down to pull to as close as five points, 37-32, at the 3:10 mark following a three pointer from KJ Waltrip. However, sparked by one of Kayla Bryant’s three first half 3-pointers, Union jumped back up by 10 points before taking the 46-39 lead into the locker room.
Union (62%) and Evangel (65%) put on a shooting clinic in the first half from the field. Shooting from long range was just as impressive as Union drained 6-of-12 three pointers for 50 percent, while the Crusaders made 8-of-13 three pointers for 62 percent. Union’s Bryant made 3-of-4 three pointers, while Evangel’s Ashlee Luko was 3-of-5 from long range.
The second half started with both teams picking up where they left off. Union’s Kayla Hudson sank two three pointers, while Evangel’s Caitlin Russell drained two from long range to help her team keep pace. At the 12:45 mark, Evangel had pulled to within four points of Union following a basket from Luko. The Crusaders were again within four points at 65-61. But three straight field goals from the reigning TranSouth Player of the Week Sarah Chan and a basket from Hope Adams put Union back up by 12 points, 73-61, with 8:35 left in the game.
Evangel was not finished as they kept making shots and a three pointer by Russell with 2:05 left in the game cut Union’s lead to just six points, 81-75. Union’s Chan, who was playing with four fouls, scored her 25th point of the game to stop the Evangel run. Hudson sank two free throws to give her 26 points in the game, putting Union back up by 10 points, 85-75 with 1:19 left. That score held for the final.
Union was led by Hudson with 26 points and Chan with 25 points. Chan has scored at least 22 points in each of her last seven games and is averaging 27 points per game during that stretch. Adams added 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Bryant finished with 12 points on four three pointers. Hudson also sank four three pointers in the game. Union shot 57 percent (4-7) from the free throw line.
Evangel was led by Waltrip with 20 points. Kara Blankenship and Russell added 14 points each. Russell sank 4-of-6 three pointers. Luko added 13 points with three from behind the arc. The Crusaders shot 67 percent (6-9) from the free throw line.
Union will be off for the Christmas break until January 6 when the Lady Bulldogs open TranSouth Conference play at No. 10 Bethel (Tenn.). Union has won the last three regular season conference titles and has a 51-game winning streak in TranSouth regular season games.
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