Union’s second half comeback ends with a 68-67 overtime loss

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – The Union University women’s basketball team lost 68-67 in overtime to Southern Nazarene (Okla.) University in the semifinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament. Union dropped to 21-9 on the season, while Southern Nazarene improved to 20-10.

Union was down by as many as 20 points in the first half, including 36-19 at the half. However, Union outscored Southern Nazarene 38-21 in the second half to come all the way back and tie the game, forcing overtime. This was the second straight overtime game for Union in the NCCAA National Tournament.

Union took their first lead of the game with the first basket of overtime, 59-57. However, Southern Nazarene jumped back up by seven points, 68-61 with just 1:19 left to play in overtime. Union got back-to-back 3-pointers from Astrid Huttemann to cut the deficit to just one. SNU missed a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left giving Union one last shot for the win. Huttemann jumper in the lane as time expired rolled just off the rim, sending Union to Saturday’s consolation game.

Union had the ball down by one point with 20 seconds to go in regulation. Sophomore guard Amy Philamlee made one-of-two free throws to tie the game for Union and complete the comeback, forcing overtime. Philamlee led Union with 12 points in the second half to spark the rally.

Union was down 18 points, 42-24 with 16:33 left in regulation. Union began to chip away at the large deficit. The Lady Bulldogs shot 46 percent from the field in the second half, including 55 percent (6-11) from long range to pull off the comeback.

In the first half, it was junior guard LaTesa McLaughlin who kept Union’s hopes alive. She scored 12 of her 21 points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Union and Southern Nazarene are no strangers to each other. Southern Nazarene now leads the all-time series 8-5. The two have combined for 12 NAIA National Titles (SNU-7, Union-5). The two teams squared off against each other in the 1997 NAIA title game, with SNU taking the win. It was a rematch in 1998 as Union returned the favor, winning their first of five national titles.

Both Union and Southern Nazarene are in the year-2 candidacy stage of the NCAA DII membership process.

Union was led by McLaughlin with a team-high 21 points. For Union, this is the 11th time in the past 12 games that a player has reached at least 20 points in a game. Six players have contributed to this, all of them underclassmen (Philamlee three times, Risner three times, Coney twice, Rechis, Huttemann, and McLaughlin once each).

Huttemann added 15 points, including five 3-pointers. Philamlee recorded 13 points and had nine assists and seven rebounds. Kelsey Risner scored 11 points and was 3-of-3 from long range. Union shot 31 percent from the field, 16 percent in the first half and 46 percent in the second half. Union was 37 percent from long range (11-30) and 67 percent (12-18) from the free throw line.

Southern Nazarene was led by their best player, Aminata Fall, with 30 points and 22 rebounds. Annie Kossongo added 15 points and Kristin Milster scored 10 points. The Crimson Storm shot 44 percent from the field, 30 percent (6-20) from long range, and 64 percent (14-22) from the free throw line.


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