BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The 18th-ranked Union women's basketball team pounded the paint and came away with a big 83-48 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over visiting Columbia (S.C.) on Saturday.
Union scored 68 points in the paint with senior center Lindsey Waters and freshman center Lydia Nash lead the way with 17 points apiece. Waters also grabbed 11 boards for her second double-double in a row and sixth of the season. She also had three blocked shots, extending her streak to a career-best 17 games with at least one block. In addition, Waters is only eight points away from becoming the 16th member of the Lady Bulldog 1,000-point club.
The win improved Union to 12-5 overall and 5-2 in the AAC, while Columbia dropped to 5-14 overall and 2-5 in league play.
The Lady Bulldogs controlled the game from the outset, opening up a 24-4 cushion following an Amber Taylor bucket with 10:30 to go in the half. The Fighting Koalas cut the deficit down to 15, but Nash hit back-to-back baskets to end the period to send Union into the locker room up 43-24.
The second half was a repeat of the first. Union led by as much as 38 points en route to the 83-48 decision.
Union scored 30 points off of Columbia's 31 turnovers and got 43 points from its bench. In fact, Waters was the only member of the starting five to crack double digits.
After Waters and Nash, Brooke Hill chipped in 11 points with Marah Rice adding 10. Union narrowly won the battle on the boards, outrebounding Columbia 53-51.
For the Koalas, Krystal Morissette led the way with 16 points, while Nikki Craig registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Union hit 42.5 percent (34-of-80 shots) from the field and made 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) on its 3-point attempts. At the line, the Lady Bulldogs finished 11-for-18 (61.1 percent). Conversely, Columbia shot 30.2 percent (19-of-63) from the field and connected on 1-of-5 from long range. Columbia didn't help itself at the foul line, making only 9-of-26 (34.6 percent).
The Lady Bulldogs will play their next three games away from Robsion Arena, starting with a date at Point (Ga.) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Union next plays at home on Jan. 26 against Tennessee Wesleyan.