March 15, 2012
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With the win, the Lady Bulldogs advance to play the winner of Xavier (La.)/Southern Nazarene (Okla.) on Friday at 9:45 p.m. EST. Additionally, Union gained its NAIA-best 64th tournament victory.
Lavanda Ross led Union with 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting, while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Amy Philamlee chipped in 18 points off the bench as the Lady Bulldogs shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor and held a 37-32 edge in rebounding.
“Lavanda Ross is a great player and she showed tonight why she is an All-American,” said Lindsey Wilson head coach Steve Beck. “We fell in love with the three too much tonight. We talked about shot selection in the pregame, we talked about it during timeouts, we talked about it at the half – sometimes we just get into that mode where we think it looks like the best shot and we kept firing them up. I really think we played hard, it just wasn’t good enough tonight.”
The Blue Raiders ended the contest shooting 35.8 percent (19-of-53), including a 5-for-20 effort from 3-point range. Ashley Rainey led the squad with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Kasey Litzinger added 12 points, respectively.
The contest remained tight for a majority of the first half, including two ties and four lead changes during the opening 10 minutes. A pair of Ross free throws gave Union a 34-24 advantage late in the half, but a Rainey 3-pointer at the buzzer made it a 34-27 Union advantage at the break.
The Lady Bulldogs continued to build their lead in the second half, pushing the advantage to a game-high 20 points, 58-38 with 6:02 left in regulation. Lindsey Wilson would outscore Union, 9-5, over the final six minutes, but it was too little too late.
The Blue Raiders fall in the first round for just the second time in their last five appearances and end the season with a 20-13 record.