SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Union saw its season coming to a close Wednesday following a 60-42 defeat to Jamestown (N.D.) in the opening round of the NAIA Women's Basketball Division II National Championship Tournament at the Tyson Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
The Lady Bulldogs did want they need to do defensively, holding the nation's third-best offense to only 60 points. However, Union struggled offensively and were dominated on the glass as Jamestown outrebounded Union 53-33.
Union ends the season with a 25-8 overall record, equaling the program record for most wins in a season and posting the best winning percentage in a season at .758. Union also posted 25 wins during the 2002-03 and 2007-08. The Lady Bulldogs also advanced to the national tournament those seasons.
Part of the Lady Bulldogs' struggles stemmed from Lindsey Waters (Stearns, Ky.) being in foul trouble the entire game. She missed the final eight minutes of the first half thanks to two fouls. Then, the Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year fouled out with 8:57 to go. In 16 minutes of action, Waters finished with only four points and six rebounds.
"There's two things. Number one, she didn't play well and the smaller post kid doesn't always foul," said Union coach Tim Curry. "But it is what it is. When she gets four points and six rebounds, we're going to struggle a bit at times."
In her absence, freshman Brooke Hill (Spara, Ky.) stepped up her game, finishing with a game-high 12 points. She also had six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Hill was the lone Lady Bulldog to score in double figures. Laura Perkins (Myra, Ky.) followed with nine, while senior Courtney Thomas (Glasgow, Ky.) had six.
Union never got into the flow offensively. The Lady Bulldogs shot 28.3 percent (13-of-46 shots) from the floor and 29.4 percent (5-for-17) from 3-point range. Normally a good free-throw shooting team, Union struggled at the line as it made 11-of-19 free throws (57.9 percent).
"We didn’t make layups. We were 8-for-29 on 2-point shots and most of them were right at the rim," said Curry. "We talked about this before the game. We knew we’d be about to get to the rim, and when we get there, they’re not going to try to block the shot. You just got to go and finish, and we repeatedly blew the easy ones."
Jamestown didn't shoot much better, hitting 34.4 percent (22-of-64) from the floor. But the Jimmies controlled the glass and hauled in 19 offensive rebounds to give them several second chance even though they scored just eight second-chance points.
Down 30-21 at the half, Union pulled within 34-28 with 13:38 remaining. The Lady Bulldogs had several chances to cut the margin even closer, but they could not seize the opportunity.
"We missed two layups and two free throws during that stretch and just didn’t rebound from it," said Curry.
From that point on, the Jimmies began to steadily add to its lead. Jamestown led 44-32 with 8:57 to go and then 51-35 at the 4:16 mark en route to the 18-point decision.
Kayla Roemmich and Bridget Schuneman paced Jamestown with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Amber Ramlo had only three points but hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds.
Union is 0-4 all-time in national tournament play.