JACKSON, Tenn. - 1/20/2007 - The Union University Lady Bulldogs moved into a five-way tie for first place in the TranSouth Conference with an 84-74 win over rival Freed-Hardeman University. Union, ranked No. 12 in the nation, improved to 14-4 on the season and 5-2 in league play. Freed-Hardeman, ranked No. 14, dropped to 13-6 overall and 5-2 in the TranSouth.
Freed-Hardeman took the early lead on the opening possession with a three pointer by Kristal Edney. However, Union rallied back to tie the game at 6-6. From that point, Union posted a 12-2 run sparked by three pointers from Union’s Jessica Graves and Latorya Fuller. Union maintained at least a five point lead for the remainder of the first half and led by as many as 15 points, 38-23 with 4:02 left in the half. Union walked into the half with a 41-29 lead over the Lady Lions.
Union, the NAIA’s leader in field goal percentage shot an impressive 63-percent from the field in the first half, including 5-of-7 (.714) from behind the arc. In recent games, turnovers have plagued the Lady Bulldogs; however, Union committed just six in the first half versus Freed-Hardeman. The Lady Lions shot 45-percent from the field in the first half, including 3-of-10 (.300) from behind the arc.
In the second half, Union scored first to increase their lead to 14 points, and the Lady Bulldogs led by 10 points, 53-43 with just over 14 minutes to play. However, Freed-Hardeman posted an 18-7 run over the next 10 minutes of play to take a lead of 61-60 with 6:38 left in the game on a basket by Stacy Myers. Union quickly answered with a three pointer from Crystal Eason to regain a lead that the Lady Bulldogs would not relinquish. Union finished the game with a 21-12 run to earn their fifth straight win.
Union shot 57-percent from the field for the game, including 6-of-10 (.600) from behind the arc. Union made 75-percent (18-24) of their free throws to help seal the win down the stretch. The Lady Bulldogs committed just 13 turnovers in the game and out-rebounded Freed-Hardeman 26-23 in the game, including 10-8 on the offensive boards.
Freed-Hardeman ended with 51-percent shooting from the field, including a respectable 8-of-21 (.381) from three point range. The Lady Lions committed 18 turnovers in the game and made 16-of-17 (.941) free throws.
For Union, each of the seven players that saw action scored, including six in double figures. Kaitlin Dudley and D.J. Sissoko led the way with 15 points each. Crystal Eason tallied 14 points including 2-of-2 from behind the arc. Jessica Graves and Latorya Fuller added 11 points each and each also added one three pointer.
Freed-Hardeman was paced by their leader, Stacy Myers, with a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. Ashley Helton added 16 points, while Jana Cross, Tara Deatheridge, and Kristal Edney each scored 11 points.
With the Union win and Freed-Hardeman loss, combined with other action in league play, Union now jumps into a five-way tie for the TranSouth lead. Union, Freed-Hardeman, Trevecca Nazarene University, Cumberland University, and Lambuth University each boast a 5-2 league mark.
Up next for Union will be yet another tough game as the Lady Bulldogs travel across town to Lambuth on Thursday night, January 25 for a 6:00 pm tip-off. In fact, Union has four games remaining in a five-game stretch in which all five opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in the latest NAIA rankings.
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