BLUEFIELD, Va. - No. 21 Union
overcame a four-point, halftime deficit to post its third win in a row
with an 83-77 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over host
Bluefield (Va.) on Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs (13-5 overall, 3-0 AAC) used a 50-point second half to propel them to the four-point win. Junior Rebecca Gray (Georgetown, Ky.) posted a game-high 22 points along with five assists in the victory. Capri Savage (Orofino, Idaho) knocked in 16 points, while Kara Pile (Fairdale, Ky.) narrowly missed recording a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Down 37-33 at the half, Union cut the margin to one with Alyson Roberts (Baxter, Tenn.) draining a 3-pointer to open the period. However, the Lady Rams (6-11 overall, 1-2 AAC) would not relinquish the lead any time soon. In fact, Bluefield steadily padded to its lead and owned a 61-51 cushion after a Kiara Honore' trey at the 10:15 mark.
The Lady Bulldogs began to fight back, cutting the margin to 63-60 following a Gray bucket with 8:11 left. Four Lady Ram points in a row made it 67-60, but Union reeled off nine of the next 11 points and tied the score at 69-69 when Savage scored with 5:04 to play.
Pile gave Union a 71-69 lead 22 seconds later, and the Lady Bulldogs never looked back.
Bluefield pulled within 75-74 when Kia Gilliard nailed a 3-pointer with 2:52 on the clock. However, Union accounted for eight of the final 11 points of the game in escaping with the 83-77 decision.
Union received a huge boost from its bench, which accounted for 50 of the team's points. The Lady Bulldogs also won the battle on the boards by outrebounding the Lady Rams 47-37. Union also converted 21 offensive rebounds into 25 second-chance points. Laura Perkins (Myra, Ky.) grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with her eight points.
Offensively, Union struggled as it shot 35.7 percent (25-of-70 shots) from the floor and 29.1 percent (9-of-31 shots) from 3-point range. Bluefield, meanwhile, hit 35-of-75 shots (46.7 percent) from the field but made only 3-of-14 3-point attempts (21.4 percent).
The Lady Bulldogs made the most of their free-throw attempts, going 24-for-32 (75 percent) at the line. Bluefield hit just half of its free throws, finishing 4-of-8 at the line.
Four Lady Rams scored in double figures with Gilliard's 16 points leading the way. Megan Randall and De'Arra Darling each chipped in 14, while Takieya Rouse added 11.
Union returns to action Saturday when it travels to Montreat (N.C.) for another conference battle. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.