BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The 18th-ranked Union women's basketball team cranked up its game after halftime to propel the Lady Bulldogs to a 77-48 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over visiting Montreat (N.C.) on Saturday.
With the win, Union improves to 11-3 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Montreat drops to 11-4 overall and 2-2 in league play.
The Lady Bulldogs struggled to get their offense going in the opening half, shooting 28.9 percent (11-of-38 shots) from the field and hit only 3-of-19 shots (15.8 percent) from 3-point range. Union found itself down 13-6 following a pair of Alexandria Gellman free throws with 13:08 left in the period. The Lady Bulldogs tied the score twice cut the margin to one three times, but they were not able to grab their first lead of the game until Macy Clontz drained a 3-pointer, giving Union a 29-28 with 3:41 on the clock.
After a pair of Laticia Singleton free throws give Montreat a one-point lead, Brooke Hill closed out the half by scoring five-straight points to lift Union to a 34-30 halftime lead.
The second half was all Union as it opened the period on a 23-7 surge to open up a 57-37 advantage with 8:43 to play. The margin hovered around 20 points for next four minutes before Union used a 11-1 run to push the lead to 75-45. Jennifer Thomas capped the run with a 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining. Montreat scored three of the final five points to make the final 77-48 Union.
Union's defense gave Montreat fits in the second half, forcing 14 turnovers in the period and holding the Lady Cavaliers to 22.2 percent (6-of-27 shots) from the floor. Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs hit 48.1 percent from the field and connected on 4-of-8 from behind the arc during the period.
Montreat entered the game as the nation's leader in rebounding margin at 15.5 rebounds per game. However, Union outrebounded Montreat 52-45.
Senior Lindsey Waters led Union with 16 points and 12 rebounds. She also blocked three shots, marking the 14th game in a row she has recorded at least one block - the third longest streak in her Union career. Waters also recorded her 500th career rebound as a Lady Bulldog. In two seasons at Union, she has 501 rebounds to rank her ninth in program history. Hill came off the bench to chip in 15 points, while Alyson Roberts added 13 points and six rebounds. Amber Taylor had only nine points but dished out a game-high seven assists.
Ashley Chavira was the lone Lady Cavalier to score in double figures, finishing with 10.
For the game, Union shot 36.9 percent (24-of-65) from the floor and 25.9 percent (7-of-27) from long range. The Lady Bulldogs made 22-of-27 free throws (81.5 percent) at the foul line. Montreat went 15-of-64 (23.4 percent) from the field, 2-for-12 (16.7 percent) on 3-pointers and 16-of-21 (76.2 percent) at the foul line.
Union hits the road for its next game, visiting Virginia Intermont on Tuesday for an AAC showdown at 5:30 p.m.