JACKSON, Tenn. — The North Alabama women were in a giving mood Saturday and Union made the most of the gifts.
UNA turned the ball over 21 times, including 15 in the first half as Union opened up a huge lead and cruised to a 66-46 victory over the Lions.
The loss put UNA (16-8, 9-5 GSC) two games behind Union (16-6, 11-3) in the race for the Gulf South Conference regular season title.
“We knew coming in that it was a tough matchup for us,” coach Terry Fowler said. “When they went with their small lineup we really struggled. We lost some of their shooters at times and they did a great job knocking down 3-pointers and building the lead.”
The turnovers, along with Union’s sagging defense had the Lions completely out of sync in the first half. UNA went almost seven minutes without scoring at one point, while the Bulldogs were knocking down 3-pointers.
Former Wayne County standout Kelsey Risner hit back-to-back
treys in a 12-0 spurt that put the
Bulldogs up 17-7. Union later hit three consecutive treys and led 27-11 after Risner’s third 3-pointer of the half.
UNA made just 5 of 17 shots from the field in the first half, while the Bulldogs hit 7 of 15 treys and led 29-15 at halftime.
“We were not aggressive against their defense,” Fowler said. “They really sag inside and it seemed to paralyze us. The stretch when they hit the three 3’s in a row was a big turning point.”
The Lions have become a second-half team of late, but there would be no rally this time. Union guard Amy Philamlee scored 20 of her game-high 27 points in the second half and kept UNA from making any kind of run. The Bulldogs led by as many as 26 midway through the second half.
Jennifer Towne led UNA with 13 points and Nichelle Fillmore added 12. Philamlee made 9 of 13 shots from the field to finish with 27 points for the Bulldogs. Risner added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Union.
“This was the first game this year where I thought the other team beat us,” Fowler said. “We were outcoached, outplayed and outhustled.”
“We have to put this one behind us quickly because a loss like this can linger. Now we have to bounce back and take care of business in our final four games.”
UNA will play at Shorter on Thursday night.
Jeff McIntyre can be reached at 256-740-5737 or jeff.mcintyre@TimesDaily.com. Follow
@TD_JeffMcIntyre on twitter.