Bulldogs upset No. 8 Tennessee Wesleyan, 68-66

By John Gatto

For the Mountain Advocate

Guard Haley Perkins (JR/Glasgow, Ky.) guided the Union College women’s basketball team with 15 points and five steals as the Bulldogs upset No. 8 Tennessee Wesleyan 68-66 in Appalachian Athletic Conference action, Saturday afternoon.

The win propels the Bulldogs to a 14-6 overall record on the year and 11-3 in AAC play while snapping Tennessee Wesleyan’s 12-game winning streak. With the loss, Tennessee Wesleyan drops to 21-2 on the season and 13-2 in conference action.

Tennessee Wesleyan hit two quick three-pointers to open the game and took a 16-7 lead with 15:07 remaining in the first-half.

Jenna Adams gave Tennessee Wesleyan an 11-point lead (25-14) with a layup at the 11:52 mark in the first-half.

The Bulldogs would spend a majority of the first-half exchanging baskets with Tennessee Wesleyan and cutting into the early deficit.

Union would close out the first-half on a 10-3 run to cut the Tennessee Wesleyan lead to 35-31 at halftime. Shira Buley led Tennessee Wesleyan with 13 first-half points while Angie Lawrence (SR/Brodhead, Ky.) led Union with 10 points.

The second-half opened with a 7-4 run by Union and a three-pointer by Perkins gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the evening at 41-39 with 16:02 remaining in the second half.

After the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game, Union and Tennessee Wesleyan would go back-and-forth in matching each other’s shots.

Tennessee Wesleyan tied the game at 54-54 on a free throw with 8:42 remaining on the clock. The Bulldogs would answer back with a 9-1 run, highlighted by four straight points and two key rebounds from Perkins. After the run, Union held a 63-55 lead with 5:10 remaining in regulation.

Union’s lead was cut to 65-64 on a Melanie Baker layup after Tennessee Wesleyan chipped away at the Bulldog lead with 42 seconds left on the clock.

Lydia Nash (JR/Florence, Ky.) grabbed the most important rebound on the night on a Lawrence missed layup with 13 seconds left. Lawrence was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and calmly sank both free throws as the Bulldogs went on to take the 68-66 upset win.

Perkins led the Bulldogs with 15 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Lawrence finished 14 points, four assists and four steals. Nash rounded out the Bulldog scorers in double-figures with 13 points.

Buley led Tennessee Wesleyan with a game-high 22 points on 16-of-21 shooting from the free throw line.

Inside The Numbers

  • ¥ Union snapped a four-game losing streak against Tennessee Wesleyan. The Bulldogs last win over Tennessee Wesleyan came on Feb. 22, 2013.
  • ¥ Tennessee Wesleyan only made seven shots in the second-half, but went 13-for-21 from the free throw line.
  • ¥ Tennessee Wesleyan ranks third in NAIA Division II play in scoring defense while holding teams to only 49.9 points per game. Union’s 68 points are the most points Tennessee Wesleyan has allowed on the season.
  • ¥  Union out rebounded Tennessee Wesleyan on the offensive glass 12-7p Next

The Bulldogs will be back in action on Feb. 4 as they host Point (Ga.) in a crucial AAC matchup. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.