FRANKFORT, Ky. - 3/15/2012 - Union (Tenn.) University advanced to the second round of the 2012 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com for the 22nd time with a 63-50 win over Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College Thursday night at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.
Union improved to 22-1 all-time in NAIA first round tournament games. The only time Union lost a first round game in tournament play was in 1989 to Wayland Baptist (Texas). That happened to be the last time, before this season, that Union had to travel out of town for the national tournament. That season was the final year for Kansas City, Mo. to host the nationals before it moved to Jackson, Tenn. the next season.
With the win, the Lady Bulldogs advance to play the winner of Xavier (La.)/Southern Nazarene (Okla.) on Friday at 9:45 p.m. EST. Additionally, Union gained its NAIA-best 64th tournament victory.
Lavanda Ross led Union with 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting, while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Amy Philamlee chipped in 18 points off the bench as the Lady Bulldogs shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor and held a 37-32 edge in rebounding.
The Blue Raiders ended the contest shooting 35.8 percent (19-of-53), including a 5-for-20 effort from 3-point range. Ashley Rainey led the squad with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Kasey Litzinger added 12 points, respectively.
The contest remained tight for a majority of the first half, including two ties and four lead changes during the opening 10 minutes. A pair of Ross free throws gave Union a 34-24 advantage late in the half, but a Rainey 3-pointer at the buzzer made it a 34-27 Union advantage at the break.
The Lady Bulldogs continued to build their lead in the second half, pushing the advantage to a game-high 20 points, 58-38 with 6:02 left in regulation. Lindsey Wilson would outscore Union, 9-5, over the final six minutes, but it was too little too late.
The Blue Raiders fall in the first round for just the second time in their last five appearances and end the season with a 20-13 record.
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