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Smith, Blankenship team up to lead UC to 75-63 win

By: Union, basketball, brooke smith
By: Union, basketball, brooke smith

LAKE WALES, Fla. - Seniors Brooke Smith and Carley Blankenship accounted for over half of the Lady Bulldogs' points as Union College defeated host Warner (Fla.) University 75-63 at the Holiday Inn Express Invitational Tuesday.

Smith (Pineville, Ky.) netted a game-high 21 points with Blankenship (Lexington, Ky.) chipping 20 points. The duo did a lot damage at the foul line as they combined to shot 14-of-21 at the charity stripe.

This marked the 10th time Smith scored 20 or more in a game this season, while it was just the second time for Blankenship.
Union improved to 10-4 overall, while Warner dropped to 5-6 on the season.

After getting off to a decent start, Union fell behind 24-17 with 10:37 to go in the first half. Warner used a 13-5 run to give itself the seven-point cushion.

The Lady Bulldogs stormed back with a 10-2 rally, taking a 27-26 lead off of a Cassandra Lawson (Lexington, Ky.) jumper at the 7:09 mark. The momentum continued the rest of the half as Union closed the period on a 12-4 surge for a 39-30 halftime advantage.

Union never relinquished the lead in the second half, but Warner did give the Lady Bulldogs a scare. Down 58-44 at the 8:44 mark, the Lady Royals put together a 10-2 run to slice the deficit to 60-54 with 5:38 remaining.

The Lady Bulldogs regrouped, and Jessica Baker (Canmer, Ky.) capped a 7-2 surge to put Union back up 67-56 with 3:25 to play. Warner never really threatened to take the lead again as Union held on for the 75-63 decision.

Lawson was the only other Lady Bulldog score in double figures as she came off the bench to equal her season high with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Ivana Soberal paced Warner with 18 points, and Sammie Clark helped out with 16 points.

Warner dominated the glass, outrebounding Union 41-29. Smith led the Lady Bulldogs with seven rebounds, but Lady Royal Meagan Stanley led everyone with eight.

The Lady Bulldogs will face No. 19 Westminster (Utah) College Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the final game of the Invitational.


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