BRISTOL, Va. - A late free throw proved to be the difference as host Virginia Intermont handed No. 18 Union its first Appalachian Athletic Conference loss in a 69-68 affair on Tuesday.
Union falls to 11-4 overall and and 4-1 in league play, while Virginia Intermont improves to 8-9 overall and 3-2 in the AAC.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed for much of the game, down as much as 29-17 with 3:31 left in the first half before cutting the margin to 34-28 at the break. The Lady Cobras owned a 46-37 at the 14:07 mark left in the second half. However, Union used a 22-10 stretch to claim its first lead since an 8-6 lead early in the game. Lindsey Waters hit a pair of throws to put Union up 57-56, and Amber Taylor followed with a bucket to make it 59-56 Union with 5:45 to play.
Union took a 65-60 lead with 3:33 to go following a two Haley Perkins free throws, but Virginia Intermont used an 8-1 run to take a 68-66 lead with 42 seconds on the clock.
Perkins tied the game up at 68-all as she sank two ore free throws with 17 seconds remaining. Ten seconds later, Ashley Lindholm was fouled. Missing the first free throw, she hit the second to put the Lady Cobras up one. Union tried to drain a last-second, game-winning bucket, but it went for naught at Virginia Intermont recorded the 69-68 upset.
Turnovers and poor rebounding contributed to Union losing. The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over 21 times, and the Lady Cobras outrebounded Union 37-21. Of its 37 rebounds, Virginia Intermont hauled in 15 on the offensive side.
Perkins matched her season high as she paced Union with 21 points. She also tallied 21 against Cincinnati Clermont (Ohio) on Dec. 8. Brooke Hill added 19 points with Waters chipping 13.
For Virginia Intermont, Rainey Story led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Kayla Orrick knocked in 14 points.
Union returns home Thursday to host Milligan (Tenn.) at 5:30 p.m. in another AAC contest.