BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The No. 21 Union women's basketball team did not get to enjoy its first game ranked in the NAIA Top 25 this season as visiting Tennessee Wesleyan notched a 58-48 Appalachian Athletic Conference decision on Wednesday.
The loss drops Union to 6-4 overall and 4-1 in the AAC, while Tennessee Wesleyan improves to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in league play.
Early on, it appeared Union had things under control using a 16-0 run to open up a 20-6 lead following a Lydia Nash basket with 12:25 remaining in the first half. During the rally, Aaliyah Lumson sank a pair of 3-pointers with Haley Perkins and Amber Taylor each draining one of their own.
Yet, Tennessee Wesleyan refused to bow out and countered with a 15-2 surge to pull within 22-21 at the 4:35 mark. Lumson followed with a 3-pointer, and Macy Clontz converted a turnover into two points to push Union's lead back up to six at 27-21 with 3:52 on the clock. However, Tennessee Wesleyan reeled off nine straight points for a 30-27 lead. Cody Houck buried a 3-pointer to put TWC up 28-27 before Kelsey Young tacked on two more points for the three-point lead.
But just before the half, Clontz nailed a trey to even the score at 30-30 at the break.
The play went back-and-forth during the first five minutes of the second half. Lumson hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 15:07 remaining to lift Union to a 37-35 lead. That was the last time Union held the advantage.
A 15-0 run over the the next seven minutes and two seconds sent Tennessee Wesleyan ahead 50-37 with 8:05 to go. Six different players scored for TWC during the rally.
Union never got the deficit smaller than eight, and TWC led by as much as 14 en route to the 58-48 win.
Lumson and Perkins paced Union with 14 points each, while Nash was next in line with nine points.
For Tennessee Wesleyan, Armeka Booker posted a double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds to go with three blocked shots. Houck followed with 14 points
By the Numbers
- Union struggled from the field in the second half, making 7-of-24 shots (29.2 percent). Union finished the game shooting 34 percent (17-of-50) from the floor.
- TWC dominated the paint and glass. The visitors scored 37 points in the paint and had 12 second-chance points. Tennessee Wesleyan outrebounded Union 39-31.
- TWC committed one more turnover than Union (19-18), but TWC scored 19 points off of Union's miscues while Union netted only 13 off of TWC's.
- Of Union's seven made 3-pointers, Lumson accounted for four, going 4-of-6 from behind the arc.
Union will play host to Point (Ga.) on Saturday in another AAC contest. Game time is set for 4 p.m.