JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/24/2006 - Both of Union University's basketball teams are highly ranked in the NAIA with the Lady Bulldogs coming in at No. 1 and the Bulldogs sitting at No. 5. However, on Friday night of the Union Thanksgiving Classic, both teams used big second halves to secure wins. Union's women defeated Loyola University (La.) 80-67 to move to 6-1 on the season while the men topped McKendree College (Ill.) 89-82 to go to 4-2 overall.
In the men's game, Union trailed 43-42 at the half to McKendree (5-3). Just two weeks earlier, McKendree topped the Bulldogs by three, 91-88 in Lebanon, Illinois. However, this night and the second half belonged to Union as the Bulldogs outscored the Bearcats 47-39 in the second half. For the game, Union shot 53-percent from the field, including 50-percent (7-of-14) from three point range. Union also made 14-of-18 free throws, including 5-of-6 in the final minute of play to seal the win.
Brian Lake, of Bolivar, led five Union players in double figures with his 22 points, including 4-of-4 from behind the arc. Pierry Valmera added 19 points, Tony Brown scored 16 points, Mack Bealim added 11 points, and Ben Frederick score 10 points.
McKendree was led by Mark Stovall with 24 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. Eric Palm and Mike Stobbe added 21 points each for the Bearcats.
In the Union women's game, Union led just 32-30 at halftime after shooting just 38-percent from the field. However, in the second half, everything changed as the Union Lady Bulldogs shot 71-pecent in the final 20 minutes to win going away, 80-67. For the game, Union shot 54-percent from the field, but just 23-percent (3-13) from behind the arc.
Union was led by freshman Gibson County standout Kaitlin Dudley with 22 points. Josephine Owino added 16 points, while Natanya Smith and D.J. Sissoko added 15 points each. Smith also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Loyola (2-4) was led by Trenese Smith with 19 points. Kimberly Rigg, Kiely Schork, and Christine Mainguy each added 14 points for the Wolfpack.
Both the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs will be in action on Saturday as the Union women play Harris-Stowe State University (Mo.) at 6:00 pm and the men play yet another ranked team as they host No. 15 Houston Baptist University (Texas) at 8:00 pm.
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