JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/3/2011 - The No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University women’s basketball team posted an 81-62 over No. 6 Bethel (Tenn.) University. The win moved Union to 22-0 on the season and 9-0 in the TranSouth. Bethel dropped to 18-4 overall and 7-2 in league play. Union topped Bethel 77-56 in January in McKenzie to sweep the regular season meetings.
Union now has a two game lead in the TranSouth standings over Bethel and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.).
The win also pushed the Union season into the record book. Union posted their 44th straight regular season win to break the old record of 43 straight regular season victories. Union’s 22-0 start also moves this team in to second place in school history for the best start to a season. Union has now won 27 straight games overall (3rd best in school history), and 60 straight TranSouth regular season victories (school record).
Bethel opened the game with a basket from Darnisha Lyles to give Bethel their first lead. However, Union’s Lavanda Ross answered with a basket to tie the game and send the Lady Bulldogs off on a 17-0 run. Union led 17-2 at the 13:44 mark in the first half. Union All-American and national tournament MVP Sarah Chan played just three minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Ross led the way for Union with 17 first half points.
Bethel rallied to cut the Union lead down to seven points, 23-16 with 8:36 left in the half. But another Union run quickly pushed the margin back to 14 points. Union led again by 14 points, 38-24 at the half.
In the second half, Union maintained the double-digit lead as they extended their cushion out to as many as 22 points twice in the second half. Union cruised down the stretch for the 81-62 final.
Union was led by Ross with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Chan ended up with 21 points, while LaTesa McLaughlin matched her career high with 15 points and five three pointers. Kayla Hudson added 14 points in the win. Union shot 55 percent from the field, 40 percent (10-25) from behind the arc and 57 percent (13-23) from the free throw line.
Bethel was led by Molly Wallsmith with 14 points. Lyles added 12 points, while Teena Carter and Jana Roney each scored 10 points. The Lady Wildcats shot 38 percent from the field, 50 percent (6-12) and 52 percent (14-27) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a road game at Martin Methodist on Saturday, February 5 at 2:00 p.m.
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