written by: Neil Frawley
That’s the command Union head coach Mark Campbell issued to his team before they took the floor in the P.E. Complex on Saturday evening. And in the end, the Lady Bulldogs handed VSU their ninth loss in 11 games.
Just like the game before against North Alabama University, VSU played one strong half, going into the locker-room with a 26-24 lead, and one bad half resulted in a 58-49 loss at home.
One highlight for VSU was limiting a team that averages 42 percent from behind the three point line to just 31 percent. But great teams always find ways to win even when they aren’t playing their best game.
“That’s why their second in the league,” VSU head coach Kiley Hill said.
To VSU’s credit, they played a great defensive game. Aside from taking the three-ball away from UU, VSU allowed the Lady Bulldogs to shoot just 35 percent from the field as a whole.
“We did a great job the first half; the second half some fatigue factor went into it. When you don’t put that ball in the hole so often… you have to go defend it,” Hill said.
VSU also matched UU on the glass, with each team pulling down a 35 rebounds. Free throws weren’t an issue for either team either as both teams shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe.
“We gave them a punch right out of the game, and they took it. They battled, and battled. They came back in the second half and punched us,” Hill said.
The “punch” that Coach Hill describes was a 23-9 second-half run that UU used greatly to their advantage.
During the run, UU converted three trifectas on the run, but many points were earned by layups and free throws, and it was during this stretch that the Lady Bulldogs ramped up their effort the most to and delivered the knockout “punch” that VSU struggled to respond to.
But respond VSU would.
Coming out defensively with a press following a time out with 2:46 left in the game, VSU managed to get two steals and two layups which would help cap off a 7-0 run to make the score 50-41.
Unfortunately for the Lady Blazers, the run came a little too late. A driving layup by Amy Philamlee would extend the lead back to double digits, and UU would cruise to a 59-48 victory.
Philamlee, who finished with 14 points, led a balanced attack. Chelsea Bodifer was second in Union’s scoring column with nine points and made 3-4 shots from behind the 3-point line.
For VSU, Kourtnee Williams led with 17 points and had three rebounds and three assists. Rashaundra Owens also had 11 points and seven rebounds.
VSU will be on the road on Monday to play a makeup game against University of West Florida, and then will be back home on Thursday to play West Georgia University.
“We kind of wavered, but we didn’t punch back. We didn’t fall, but we didn’t punch back,” Hill said.