JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/11/2012 - The No. 3 Union University women’s basketball came away with a 48-44 win over No. 2 Freed-Hardeman University Saturday at Fred DeLay Gymnasium. The win for Union put the Lady Bulldogs in sole possession of first place in the conference with five games left to play. Union improved to 24-2 on the season and 11-1 in the TranSouth. Freed-Hardeman dropped to 21-4 overall and 9-2 in league play.
This win was also Union’s eighth straight win overall and 36th straight home win.
Union led the NAIA with 38 percent shooting from 3-point range and was No. 4 in the NAIA with 211 made 3-pointers entering the game (8.4/game). The Lady Bulldogs hit that average exactly in today’s win, making 8-of-21 from long range at 38 percent. Union hit four three pointers in each half.
Freed-Hardeman scored first in the game, but Union’s LaTesa McLaughlin answered with a three pointer to give Union a lead they would keep for the remainder of the half. It was not the last big 3-pointer of the game for McLaughlin or Union.
Union extended their first half lead out to as many as 10 points, 24-14, before the Lady Lions closed out the half with an 8-0 run to cut their halftime deficit to just two points, 24-22.
In the second half, Union went up by as many as six points twice, but could not put the game out of reach. Freed-Hardeman tied the game at 34-34 with 11:38 left to play.
However, it was Union getting another big 3-pointer. This time from Rebecca Sharpe who put Union back up by three points. Maria Bagwell for Freed-Hardeman then answered with a three point play to tie the game. The Lady Lions scored their fifth straight point on their next possession to take just their second lead of the game at 39-37.
Next, it was McLaughlin’s turn again as she drained a 3-pointer to put Union back on top. She wasn’t done, because on the next possession, McLaughlin hit her third three pointer of the day to give Union a 4-point advantage, 42-39 with 6:12 left to play. Freed-Hardeman responded again with five straight points to take a 44-43 lead with just 2:31 left to play.
And then for the final time, Union responded with another 3-pointer, this one coming from Sharpe as she put Union up for good, 46-44. Lavanda Ross then hit 1-of-2 three throws with 1:20 left to give Union a three point lead. Freed-Hardeman missed on two chances to tie the game on 3-pointers. Shelby Ashcraft grabbed the game-winning rebound with one second left, was fouled, and sank one free throw to clinch the win for Union.
Both halves were played to the exact score as Union won both periods 24-22 for the 48-44 win.
Union was led by McLaughlin with 11 points. Ross added nine points and Huttemann added eight points. Union shot 40 percent from the field, 38 percent (8-21) from long range, and 50 percent (6-12) from the free throw line.
Freed-Hardeman was led by Ashley Tate with 13 points. Bagwell added a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Lady Lions shot 34 percent from the field, 13 percent (1-8) from long range, and 69 percent (9-13) form the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be another home conference game, Monday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m. versus Cumberland.
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