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No. 2 Union advances to finals with 75-62 win over Bethel


LaTesa McLaughlin

JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/2/2012 - The No. 2 Union University women’s basketball team posted a 75-62 win over Bethel University Friday at Fred DeLay Gymnasium. Union improved to 30-2 on the season, while Bethel ends their season at 15-17.

The win for Union puts the Lady Bulldogs in the TranSouth Tournament title game for the sixth straight season, and for the 15th time in the 16-year history of the TranSouth. Top-seeded Union faces second-seed Freed-Hardeman Monday night at 7:00 p.m. at Union. Union is seeking their second straight tournament title.

In the previous 14 TranSouth title game appearances, Union is 11-3. The lone season Union failed to make the TranSouth title game in the history of the league was 2006. However, in 2006, Union went on to win their second straight national title and third of the program’s five national titles.

This win for Union was also extended their overall winning streak to 14 games, and their home court winning streak to 40 games. Union has now won 100 of their last 101 games at home. The last home loss was the 2010 TranSouth Tournament title game when Union fell to Freed-Hardeman. That loss snapped a program record 60 straight home wins. Union and Freed-Hardeman have accounted for all 15 of the previous TranSouth Tournament titles (Union 11, FHU 4). Union and Freed-Hardeman have met eight times in the tournament title game, with Union winning five of those eight contest.

In Friday’s win over Bethel, Union started strong, pushing out to an 18-8 lead over the first five and a half minutes. Union led again by 10 points in the first half, 23-13, with 11:22 left to play. However, Bethel responded with a 17-4 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 30-27 lead. Union was down 34-32 on the final possession of the half, when LaTesa McLaughlin took a pass from Lavanda Ross and drained a 3-pointer to put Union up 35-34 at the half.

In the second half, Bethel started the half with an 3-point play from Molly Wallsmith to put her team back up 37-35. However, Union responded with a 7-0 run to regain the lead for good. Union pushed the lead out to 10 points again, 57-47. Bethel produced one final rally, but only managed to cut their deficit to three points, 59-56 with 6:53 left to play in the game. Union extended their lead out to as many as 14 points in the game with 2:40 left to play. A long field goal by Ross as the shot clock expired put Union up 72-58. Union finished off the Lady Wildcats with a 75-62 final.

Ross’s 18 points led five Union players in double figures. She also dishing out a game-high seven assists, was second on the team with eight rebounds and led with three steals. Mildred Olumasi recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. McLaughlin added 13 points, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Shelby Ashcraft added 12 points in just 12 minutes of play as she worked around foul trouble before finally fouling out. Astrid Huttemann scored 10 points in the game. Union shot 46 percent from the field, 36 percent (8-22) from long range, and 72 percent (13-18) from the free throw line.

Bethel was led by Molly Wallsmith with 23 points. Jana Roney added 20 points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Wildcats shot 41 percent from the field, 19 percent (3-16) from behind the arc, and 87 percent (13-15) from the free throw line.

#UNION#


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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