JACKSON, Tenn. - 1/8/2011 - The No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University women’s basketball team rallied from a halftime deficit to pull away in the 87-73 victory over Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College. Union improved to 15-0 on the season and 2-0 in the TranSouth. Martin Methodist dropped to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The win for Union was their 53rd straight TranSouth regular season win, 20th straight overall and 10th straight at home.
The game also produced several milestones for Union players. Kayla Hudson recorded 29 points and seven assists. Her 29 points marks a new career high, topping her previous mark of 26 points from earlier this year. Hudson also recorded her 700th career assist in the game. She became Union’s all-time assist leader last season as a junior. In addition, Sarah Chan needed just six over her 20 points to reach 1,500 points for her career.
Martin Methodist, who entered the game with the NAIA’s second best scoring offense, opened play with five straight points. Union answered back with a 7-0 run to take their first lead of 7-5 at the 17:11 mark. However, the RedHawks regained the lead and pushed their margin out to as many as seven points twice during the first half.
Union kept coming back. Following a three pointer by Hudson in the final minute of the half, Union had pulled to within 40-38 at the break. This marked the four time this season, and first time at home, that Union trailed at the break.
In the second half, Martin Methodist pushed the lead out to 44-40 over the first minute of play. However, Union’s offense sparked an 11-0 run to take a 51-44 lead at the 16:53 mark. Union never trailed again, as they extended their lead to as many as 21 points (83-62) with 3:48 left in the game. A few late baskets for Martin Methodist set the final score at 87-73.
Union outscored Martin Methodist 49-33 in the second half, and held the RedHawks to 18 points fewer than their season average. Only four of Union’s 15 opponents on the year have reached the 70-point mark, just one has surpassed 80 points.
Union was led by Hudson’s 29 points, including 7-of-12 from three point range. Chan added 20 points and 15 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. Lavanda Ross added 13 points and 10 assists for her second double-double on the season. Kayla Bryant’s four 3-pointers gave her 12 points in the game. Hope Adams grabbed 10 rebounds. Union shot 43 percent from the field, 40 percent (12-30) from long range and 61 percent (11-18) from the free throw line.
Martin Methodist was led by last week’s NAIA Player of the Week, Vee Young, with 24 points. Ashley Meeks, Micah Anderson and Jessy Christopher each added 10 points. Christopher dished out 11 assists to complete her double-double. The RedHawks shot 44 percent from the field, including 53 percent in the first half. They managed 33 percent from long range (6-18) and 46 percent (5-11) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a road trip to conference foe Lyon (Ark.) College on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6:00 p.m. Lyon is receiving votes in the latest NAIA poll.
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