WINONA LAKE, Ind. - The 24th-ranked Union women's basketball team put up a valiant effort, but it did not have an answer for No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan's second-half surge as the Lady Bulldogs fell 61-55 Friday at the Grace College Classic in Winona Lake, Ind.
The loss is the first the Union as drops to 4-1 on the year. Indiana Wesleyan remains perfect at 5-0.
Senior Lindsey Waters had arguably her best game of the season thus far as she scored 20 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocks six shots.
Indiana Wesleyan jumped out to the early advantage as Union's offense struggled to get going. A Clair Ray bucket with 15:56 to go in the first half put the Wildcats up 11-4. Union responded with an 18-5 run, claiming a 22-16 advantage at the 5:43 mark. Waters hit two 3-pointers during the rally, and the Lady Bulldogs maintained the lead into the half with a 26-24 edge.
Tied at 31-all early in the second half, Indiana Wesleyan accounted for 14 of the next 18 points to open up a 45-35 cushion with 12:12 remaining. Union cut the margin to five, but the Wildcats kept the pressure up and took their largest lead of the game at 56-45 following a Ray basket with 4:12 to play. The Lady Bulldogs continued to battle back, slicing the deficit to three twice during the final 15 seconds of the contest. However, Indiana Wesleyan made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the 61-55 decision.
After Waters, Lydia Nash paced Union with 10 points.
Paige Smith led Indiana Wesleyan with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Taylor Goshert and Ray followed with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Union returns to action Saturday when it plays host Grace at 2 p.m.