KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - 11/7/2010 - The Union (Tenn.) University women’s basketball team fell at NCAA No. 4 University of Tennessee 86-53 in an exhibition game. Union, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA preseason poll, trailed 39-21 at the half.
Union hung tough for much of the first half and drew to within 21-18 before the Big Orange closed the half on an 18-3 run to take a 39-21 lead into the locker room.
Union never led in the game, but was able to experience some success both offensively and defensively against a much larger Tennessee team. Union shot just 38 percent from the field in the game, but managed 47 percent (9-19) from behind the arc. Union made 4-of-8 free throws, all in the second half.
Tennessee shot 49 percent from the field, including 28 percent (7-25) from three-point range, and 67 percent (13-17) from the free throw line.
The difference in the game was the size of the Lady Volunteer team. Tennessee out-rebounded Union 49-23, including 20-6 on the offensive glass. Tennessee won the points in the paint battle 46-12 and second-chance points 14-2. Tennessee also recorded 11 blocked shots, led by Kelley Cain with five.
Union head coach Mark Campbell said he was proud of his team's effort. "We pride ourselves on being able to play on the same level emotionally no matter what is going on during the game," Campbell said. "I think we competed the entire night."
Union was led by Kayla Hudson with 17 points including five three pointers. Lavanda Ross scored 16 points. Kayla Bryant and LaTesa McLaughlin each sank two three pointers for six points each. Only seven Union Lady Bulldogs played double figures in minutes, led by Hudson and Ross with 39 and 38 minutes respectively. All eleven Lady Bulldogs earned minutes in the contest. McLaughlin led with six rebounds, while Zeinab Chan managed four points and five rebounds.
Tennessee was led by Glory Johnson with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Alicia Manning added 13 points, while Taber Spani and Shekinna Stricklen added 10 points each. Cain added 10 rebounds. Of the 11 Tennessee players that played in the game, 10 scored.
Up next for Union will be another exhibition game against yet another SEC and NCAA power, Vanderbilt (Tenn.) University. Union will face Vandy for the second time in as many seasons on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum in Nashville. Last season, Union led for the first 29 minutes of the game before falling 69-48.
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