PIKEVILLE, Ky. - It was a night of milestones for the Union women's basketball team as the Bulldogs pulled out a thrilling 89-88 win over host Pikeville (Ky.) on Tuesday.
The victory improves Union to 9-5 overall, but it was also the 500th win in program history. Since the program began in 1978-79, the Bulldogs have compiled a 500-523 all-time record. During the past 12-plus seasons, Union has collected 239 of those victories under head coach Tim Curry, who owns a 239-161 record at the school. Seven of the program's eight 20-win seasons have come during Curry's tenure as has all four of the Bulldogs' NAIA National Championship Tournament appearances.
Senior guard Amber Taylor hit a personal milestone as well, scoring a career-high 32 points. She hit 11-of-16 shots from the floor and went 10-of-11 at the foul line in pacing the Bulldogs' offensive attack.
Taylor's final two points proved to be the difference. Down 88-87, Taylor drove the lane and scored the game-winner with nine seconds remaining. Pikeville's Patrice Tonge tried to repeat history in the closing moments, but her shot rimmed out.
On Nov. 30, Pikeville (5-7 overall) defeated Union in Barbourville, Ky., 80-78 when Brogan Conley drained a three-pointer with seven seconds on the clock to lift the Lady Bears to the win.
The game was tight throughout as there were 10 ties and 15 lead changes. Pikeville never lead by more than nine points, while Union's largest lead was five. The Bulldogs held a 42-39 edge at the break.
After Taylor, Union was led by Lydia Nash and Haley Perkins, who netted 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Pikeville's Callisha Johnson led all scorers with 39 points. Cheyenne Madden followed with 13, while Kandice Porter and Jayme Jackson each contributed 12 points.
By the Numbers
- Taylor's previous career high was 30 points, which she scored against Tennessee Wesleyan during the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament on Feb. 22, 2013. Her previous season high was 21 points coming against Tennessee Temple on Dec. 13.
- Union has won three of its last four games, scoring at least 85 points in each of the victories.
- When scoring 80 or more points, Union is 5-0.
- The Bulldogs outrebounded the Lady Bears 39-31, but no Union player had more than six rebounds. Taylor and Perkins each had six.
- Union took care of business at the foul line, going 12-for-12 in the second half and 22-of-24 (91.7 percent) for the game.
- The teams combined for 50 total fouls and went a combined 49-of-61 at the free-throw line.
Union has an extended break due to the holiday season as it does not return to action until Jan. 2 when it plays at Columbia (S.C.) in AAC action. Game time is set for 2 p.m.