BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - It wasn't pretty or easy, but it was a Union win nonetheless. The Bulldogs saw their 18-point halftime lead dwindle down to three with under a minute to play, but Union held on for the 65-58 Appalachian Athletic Conference decision over visiting St. Andrews (N.C.) on Saturday.
The win is Union's third in a row as it improved to 11-5 overall and 7-1 in league play. St. Andrews falls to 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the AAC.
It appeared the Bulldogs were on their way to a blowout victory after they used 21-0 run in the first half to open up a 33-12 advantage with 5:37 remaining. Union went on to take a 39-20 cushion into the half.
Not a lot happened for much of the first eight minutes of the second half as Union held a 53-32 lead with 12:25 to go following an Amber Taylor free throw. But then the Lady Knights began to crawl back into the game.
Over the next 11-plus minutes, St. Andrews outscored Union 24-6 to slice the margin to 59-56 Bulldogs with 1:01 to play. Mercedes Smith scored seven during the rally with Karin Law adding six. Tyler Knight also scored six during the run and drained the Lady Knights' second 3-pointer of the game to make it a three-point game with a minute to play.
The teams traded points on their next possessions, making it 61-58 with 42 seconds remaining. St. Andrews kept fighting but was unable to get any closer as Union hit 4-of-6 free throws in the waning moments to wrap up the 65-58 decision.
In the second half, the Bulldogs scored half of their points from the foul line, going 13-of-18 at the line. Union shot 17.1 percent from the field during the final 20 minutes, going 6-of-35. In fact, Union's last bucket came at the 7:46 mark and only made two in the final 11:07 of the game.
For St. Andrews, Smith netted 15 with Law adding 13. Ashley Jennings narrowly missed getting a double-double with eight points and 16 rebounds.
By the Numbers
Union does not return to action until next Saturday when it pays Bryan (Tenn.) a visit for another AAC showdown. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
|St. Andrews 5-7, 2-5 AAC||20||38||58|
|Union (Ky.) 11-5, 7-1 AAC||39||26||65|
|Jan. 4, 2014|
|St. Andrews||Indv. Leaders||Union (Ky.)|
|#15 Mercedes Smith - 15||Points||#33 Lydia Nash - 19|
|#33 Ashley Jennings - 16||Rebounds||#2 Amber Taylor - 8|
|2 Players (#15,#32) - 3||Assists||#20 Haley Perkins - 5|
|St. Andrews||Team Statistics||Union (Ky.)|
|36.4% (20 - 55)||Field Goals %||24.3% (18 - 74)|
|25% (2 - 8)||3 Point Field Goals %||24% (6 - 25)|
|66.7% (16 - 24)||Free Throws||74.2% (23 - 31)|
|14||2nd Chance Pts||9|