BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Reinhardt (Ga.) used a second-half surge to pull away from host Union to claim the 68-57 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory on Tuesday.
Jennifer Thomas drained a 3-pointer to pull Union even at 39-all with 11:59 to play. However, the Lady Eagles mounted an 18-6 run to open up a 57-45 advantage en route to the 11-point win. Hannah Mayo scored all seven her points during the decisive rally for Reinhardt.
The loss drops Union to 14-8 overall and 7-5 in the AAC, while Reinhardt improves to 13-11 overall and 8-4 in league play. The Eagles are now in sole possession of third in the conference standings with Union now sitting in a tie for fourth with Bryan (Tenn.). Should the tournament start today, Union would be the fifth seed since Bryan currently holds the tie-breaker having won the teams' only meeting this season. Union and Bryan face each other in Barbourville in the regular-season finale on Feb. 16.
For the second game in a row, Union struggled offensively. The Lady Bulldogs hit 34 percent (16-of-47 shots) from the field and went 3-for-18 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range. In fact, Thomas was the lone Lady Bulldog to make a trey, going 3-for-5 from long range.
Reinhardt connected on 19-of-43 shots (44.2 percent) from the floor and finished 3-for-10 on 3-point attempts. The Lady Eagles really did some damage at the foul line in going 27-of-36 (75 percent).
Union shot 73.3 percent (22-of-30) from the charity stripe.
The majority of the Lady Bulldogs' points came from the bench. Brooke Hill led the team with 17 points with Thomas and Lindsey Waters coming off the bench to chip in nine and eight points respectively. Macy Clontz added a free throw to account for the bench's 35 points. Playing for the first time since Jan. 19, Waters contributed eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Haley Perkins was the lone Union starter to score in double figures, finishing with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
For Reinhardt, Tara Hay netted a game-high 25 points as she went 13-for-16 at the foul line. Kayla Aiken followed with 16 points.
Union looked like it was in good shape to take the lead into the half up 22-18 with 2:28 left and momentum on its side. But Reinhardt responded with a 9-2 run to close the period to take a 29-24 lead into the break.
The Lady Bulldogs battled back to claim at pair of one-point leads, the last being 33-32 at the 14:19 mark. Union knotted the score twice, yet Reinhardt used an 18-6 surge to turn a 39-39 tie into a 57-45 cushion. Union cut the deficit to 60-53 with 3:23 remaining but couldn't get any closer as Reinhardt held for the 11-point win.
Up next for the Lady Bulldogs is a trip to Montreat (N.C.) on Thursday as they battle the Lady Cavaliers in AAC play. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.