BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Freshman
Amber Taylor poured in a season-high 20 points, and Union needed every,
single one of them as the Lady Bulldogs held off visiting Bluefield
(Va.) 76-74 in Appalachian Athletic Conference action on Saturday.
Taylor (Clinton, Tenn.) hit 7-of-10 shots, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, in pacing Union's offense. Her previous season best came against Asbury (Ky.) on Nov. 16 when she netted 18. Taylor also had four rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
With the win, Union improved to 16-9 overall and 6-4 in league play. Bluefield dropped to 8-16 overall and 3-7 in the AAC.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed only once when the Lady Rams held a 5-4 edge early in the game, and Union led by as much as 14 in the first half and by 10 in the second half. Yet, the Lady Bulldogs had scrap it out down the stretch to pull out the narrow victory.
Bluefield used a 7-2 run to even the score at 68-68 when Doriane Davis hit two free throws with 2:44 remaining. Layups by Laura Perkins (Myra, Ky.) and Kara Pile (Fairdale, Ky.) put Union back up by four with 1:50 to play, but Bluefield countered with buckets from Takieya Rouse and Kia Gilliard to even the ledger at 72-72 with 52 seconds still to go.
Taylor nailed a 3-pointer at the 24-second mark to give the Lady Bulldogs a 75-72 advantage. Still, Bluefield battled back, cutting the margin to one thanks to a Rouse layup. Pile then hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it 76-74 in Union's favor with 10 seconds remaining. Bluefield got two shots off in the waning moments but could not score as Union held on for the two-point victory.
After Taylor, Perkins led Union with 15 points with Pile knocking in 13. Courtney Thomas (Glasgow, Ky.) nearly had a double-double with nine points and game-high 12 rebounds.
For Bluefield, Rouse led the way with 23 points and six rebounds, while Kiara Honore' had 12 points.
Union hit 47.9 percent (23-of-48shots) from the floor and went 6-for-13 (46.2 percent) from 3-point range. The Lady Bulldogs struggled at the foul line, making 24-of-38 (63.2 percent). In the second half alone, Union missed 11-of-22 at the line.
Meanwhile, Bluefield shot 34.2 percent (25-of-73 shots) from the field, 38.9 percent (7-of-18 shots) from long range and 85 percent (17-of-20 free throws) from the charity stripe.
Bluefield narrowly won the battle on the boards by a 41-40 margin.
The Lady Bulldogs were playing without three of their upperclassmen as seniors Wendi Messer (Barbourville, Ky.) and Capri Savage (Orofino, Idaho) and junior Rebecca Gray (Georgetown, Ky.) are all out due to injury.
Union returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Montreat (N.C.) at 5:30 p.m.