From B&R staff reports
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Union University women’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in the program’s history.
Union posted a 73-70 victory over Carson-Newman on Monday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II tournament at the Sanford Pentagon. The No. 7-seeded Lady Bulldogs (32-3) will face No. 6-seeded Central Missouri (28-3) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Final Four.
Monday’s game between Union and Carson-Newman was the first meeting between the teams since 1994 — and it featured the typical March Madness drama.
Union led by as many as 21 points in the second half, but Carson-Newman (32-3) staged a frantic comeback by putting together a 36-15 run to tie the game at 70-70 with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Union moved back on top when Chelsey Shumpert made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:28 to play, and the Lady Bulldogs held on from there. Carson-Newman had three chances to tie or take the lead in the final 88 seconds, but came up empty each time, including missing a heavily-contested 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Union posted the win despite going the final 5:38 of the game without a field goal, and converting only 3-of-6 free throws in that stretch.
Shumbert finished with a game-high 24 points for Union, going 9-of-22 from the floor. Annalea Little and Sara Lytle added 11 points each. Kevin Goodin-Rogers scored 10 points and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, who owned a 43-27 lead at the half after outscoring Carson-Newman 25-11 in the second quarter.
Haris Price paced Carson-Newman with 17 points, and Briana Smith added 16. Kayla Marosites had 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass, and Katie Stubblefield had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Union finished 25-of-57 (44 percent) from the floor, with more than half of the attempts coming from 3-point range. The Lady Bulldogs were 11-of-31 from behind the arc.
The Lady Eagles outrebounded Union 48-30 in the game, including 20-5 on the offensive glass.