BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Four Lady Bulldogs scored in double figures Saturday as Union won its home opener over Berea (Ky.) in what was a physical clash.
A total of 48 fouls were called, and teams combined to shoot 77 free throws. In fact, Union scored nearly half of its points at the line as it went 41-for-49 (83.7 percent). Two Lady Bulldogs - Lindsey Waters (Stearns, Ky.) and Kara Pile (Fairdale, Ky.), made 12 free throws with Pile going a perfect 12-for-12.
With the win, Union improves to 5-2 on the year. Berea is now 0-10.
In the first half, Union had trouble shaking Berea. The Lady Bulldogs built a 17-5 lead with 13:16 to go in the first half, but Lady Mountaineers put together a 15-2 run to seize a 20-19 lead at the 9:10 mark.
Waters hit a pair of free throws to put Union up one to fuel an 8-2 surge as Union grabbed a 27-22 lead with 3:53 to play. Berea clawed its way back to make it 36-35 Union at the half.
Union quickly built a 48-39 lead in the second half, seizing the nine-point edge after a Laura Perkins (Myra, Ky.) layup with 13:48 remaining. Berea countered with seven points in a row to make it 48-46 at the 12:18 mark. But that was as close as Berea could get.
The Lady Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 run to build a 56-46 cushion with 10:31 to play. Marah Rice (Scottsville, Ky.) scored five of the points of run with a 3-pointer and two free throws.
Berea still would not go away, slowly whittling the margin to 62-58 following a pair of Shelby Romine free throw with 4:59 left. An 8-2 run propelled Union to a 70-60 advantage with 3:17 on the clock with Pile scoring the final four points from the foul line. Berea never got within eight points the rest of the as Union held on for the 83-72 victory.
Waters paced Union with 20 points and nine rebounds with Pile following with 18 points and five assists. Amber Taylor (Clinton, Tenn.) chipped in 16 points and had six steals, and Perkins came off the bench to net 11 points.
Romine led Berea with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Annie Garland and K-osha Puente added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Union struggled from the field, making just 17-of-53 shots (32.1 percent) and 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from 3-point range. However, the Lady Bulldogs went 41-for-49 (83.7 percent) from the foul line.
Berea shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58 shots) from the floor and went 5-for-12 (41.7 percent) from long range. At the line, the Lady Mountaineers connected on 21-of-28 (75 percent) attempts.
The Lady Bulldogs will open Appalachian Athletic Conference play Wednesday at Bluefield (Va.). Tipoff is set at 5:30 p.m.