JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/13/2012 - After moving up to No. 2 in the latest NAIA rankings just a few hours earlier, the Union University women’s basketball survived an upset bid from Cumberland University 52-48. Union improved to 25-2 on the season and a TranSouth best 12-1. Cumberland dropped to 12-13 on the season and 7-6 in league play.
The win for Union was their ninth straight victory overall and 37th straight home court win.
This was the second straight 4-point victory for Union in a very low scoring contest. Union knocked off No. 3 Freed-Hardeman Saturday, 48-44.
The game started slow with neither team scoring in the first two minutes of play. Union did not score until the 17-minute mark to tie the game at 2-2. The first half featured four ties and five lead changes. With the game tied at 15-15, Union posted a 9-2 run capped by a three pointer from Rebecca Sharpe. Cumberland answered with a three pointer from Casie Cowan with 22 seconds left in the half to set the score at 24-20 leading into the break.
This marked the third straight half of basketball in which Union scored exactly 24 points.
In the second half, Union led by as many as 11 points, 41-30, just seven minutes into the period. But the Lady Bulldogs of Union did not put Cumberland away.
With 2:40 left to play in the game and Union clinging to a 47-45 lead, Cumberland’s Jessica Pace converted a 3-point play to give her team their first lead of the second half, 48-47.
However, Union’s senior All-American, Lavanda Ross, answered with two of her game-high 23 points with 1:42 left to put Union back 49-48. Then it was LaTesa McLaughlin, for the second straight game, hitting a big 3-pointer for Union. Union led 52-48 with 1:06 left to play.
In the final minute, Union missed three straight front ends of one-and-one free throw opportunities. But Cumberland was unable to take advantage, missing two 3-point attempts and failing to get a shot off in the final seconds.
Union was led by Ross with 23 points. She also led with nine rebounds and added three assists and a steal. Mildred Olumasi scored eight points. Union shot 34 percent from the field, 26 percent (5-19) from long range, and 64 percent, 9-14) from the free throw line. Union was 7-of-7 from the charity stripe in the first half but was just 2-of-7 from the free throw line in the second half.
Cumberland was led by Pace with 14 points and Cowan with 10 points. Cumberland shot 49 percent from the field, 25 percent (3-12) from behind the arc, and 56 percent (5-9) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a road game Thursday, February 16 at Mid-Continent (Ky.) at 6:00 p.m.
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Fax: (731) 661-5182