WISE, Va. - Senior guard Carley Blankenship joined an exclusive club Saturday, but the milestone's overshadowed by Union College's 82-77 Appalachian Athletic Conference loss at UVa-Wise.
Blankenship (Lexington, Ky.) dished out five assists in becoming the fourth player in program history to amass 400 career helpers. She ranks third all-time with 404 with Tara Bailey-Middleton fourth at 403. Andrea Hillard is the all-time assist leader with 654, while Allison Fowler is second at 421.
Blankenship is also the third person in program history with 1,000 points and 400 assists in a career, joining Hillard and Fowler. Blankenship has 1,106 career points.
The loss drops Union to 13-8 overall and 5-4 in the AAC. UVa-Wise is now 11-7 overall and 6-2 in league play.
The Lady Bulldogs led 33-27 at the half but found themselves in a battle down the stretch. A Brooke Smith (Pineville, Ky.) jumper put Union up 64-57 with 6:43 to play; however, UVa-Wise reeled off 10 straight point and took a 67-64 lead following an Amber Carter 3-pointer at the 4:19 mark.
Blankenship cut the lead to 69-68 with a trey of her own with 3:23 remaining, but Union never reclaimed the lead as UVa-Wise captured the five-point, conference win.
Smith paced Union with 21 points and now has 2,498 career points. She is 55 points away from surpassing Paul Andrews as the all-time scoring leader in Union basketball history - men's or women's.
Blankenship added 14 points, while Ashley Lunsford (Orlando, Ky.) and Kara Pile (Fairdale, Ky.) chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively. Courtney Thomas (Glasgow, Ky.) led Union on the glass with nine rebounds.
For the Lady Cavaliers, Kristin Mullins led all scorers with 24 points to go with 13 rebounds. Brittany Maxwell followed with 13 points, and Ayla Young and Carter knocked in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Union will play at Bryan (Tenn.) College Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in another AAC battle.