Strong Second Half Propels Hastings to Second Round
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Fueled by four Broncos in double figures and 47 second half points, No. 2 Hastings (Neb.) defeated No. 7 Union (Ky.), 79-64, in first round action of the 2014 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm. The Broncos, who improved to 27-5 on the year, await the winner of No. 6 Oklahoma Wesleyan and No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan.
The two sides traded baskets over the course of the opening five minutes, before a pair of Amber Taylor free throws and a layup gave Union a 10-6 advantage. Following a 9-0 run by Hastings, capped by a 3-pointer by Jamie Van Kirk, the Bulldogs went on the offensive again, scoring 13 of the games next 14 points to make it 23-16 with 8:21 left in the first half.
However, Hastings, despite shooting 29.7 percent (11-of-27) from the field, including a 3-for-16 effort from beyond the arch, continued to hang around due to timely baskets. The first half ended with Union clinging to a 34-32 advantage.
The Bulldogs shot 37.9 percent from the floor in the period and were 11-for-13 at the free throw line.
Hastings bounced back in the second half, tying the game on a Frankie Petersen 2-pointer off a Union turnover. Similarly to the start of the first half, the two teams traded baskets over the course of the next 2-to-3 minutes, before a 12-2 run by Hastings gave the Broncos their first double-digit lead of the game 49-39. Hastings’ timely shooting continued throughout the remainder of the period en route to the 15-point win.
Senior guard Cami Bruckman recorded her second double-double of the year with a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. Senior forward Frankie Peterson, who entered the championship averaging 5.6 points per game, exploded for a career-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while senior center Laurel Zwiener also had a career night with seven blocks.
Union was led in scoring by senior guard Amber Taylor, who ended the contest with a game-high 26 points.
With the loss, Union, who qualified with a automatic berth after winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament championship, ends the season with an 24-9 record.