BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union got
18-point performances out of senior Wendi Messer and junior Kara Pile,
but it was not enough as visiting No. 17 Tennessee Wesleyan held on for
the 85-79 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory Wednesday.
Playing in her first game back since Jan. 29 when suffering an injury, Messer (Barbourville, Ky.) hit 6-of-15 shots and nailed three 3-pointers in netting her 18 points. Meanwhile, Pile (Fairdale, Ky.) connected on 8-of-12 shots with two treys to her credit.
The loss puts Union at 16-12 overall and 6-7 in the AAC, while Tennessee Wesleyan improved to 25-3 overall and 13-0 in conference play.
Union trailed by as much as 13 points in the first half but cut the margin to 35-33 following Pile 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining. However, Cody Houck drained a trey of her own as time expired to give the visitors a 38-33 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Union kept things close, pulling within one on a couple of occasions. Yet, Tennessee Wesleyan never relinquished the lead as it held on for the 85-79 decision.
Candace Cain and Heather Gibson each posted a double-double to pace the Tennessee Wesleyan offense. Cain finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds with Gibson netting 19 points and 11 boards. Amy Jo Castor had 16 points with Houck and Leah Frazier chipping in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
After Messer and Pile, Taylor was the only other Union player to hit double figures as she contributed 16.
Union will wrap up the regular-season Saturday at Bryan (Tenn.). Game time is set for 2 p.m.