Send this article to a friend Print RSS

Union Overcomes Slow Start to Beat Xavier

March 16, 2012
Article Image
FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Box Score; Coach Interview) Union (Tenn.) overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and shined on the defensive end en route to a 58-43 win over Xavier (La.) on Friday in the second round finale of the 2012 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com at the Frankfort Convention Center.

With the win, Union (33-2) advances to Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup with Biola (Calif.) at 8 p.m. EST. Biola upset Langston (Texas) 73-58 earlier in the day.

Union held the Gold Nuggets (26-9) to 20 points below their season scoring average. Xavier managed just seven field goals in each half to produce a season-low 43 points.

The Gold Nuggets shot 30.4 percent (14-of-46) from the field, including just five of 19 from beyond the three-point arc.

Union had difficulties at time on offense as well as the Bulldogs connected on just 38.8 percent (19-of-46) shooting. Despite its overall shooting struggles, Union connected on seven out of 16 threes for 43.8 percent.

Xavier could not have started the game any better, sprinting out of the gates to a 13-1 lead. In fact, the Gold Nuggets did not allow a Union field goal until Adenike Dawodu scored with 12:16 left in the half.

The Xavier hot start quickly subsided as Union outscored the Gold Nuggets 16-2 over the next 5:33 to take a 19-15 lead with just under seven minutes left in the half.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to as many nine points in the latter stages of the half before finally leading 29-21 at the break.

In the second half, Union dominated from nearly start to finish.

After Xavier had cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 32-26 early in the second half, Union used a 14-2 run and never looked back on the way to its 17th straight win.

Four Bulldogs recorded double figures led by Shelby Ashcraft with 14 points. Lavanda Ross recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Amy Philamlee and LaTesa McLaughlin scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Jasmine Grant was the only Xavier player to reach double digits. She finished with 12.