JACKSON, TN - For the third game in a row, The Master’s College women's basketball team suffered through another poor-shooting first half and never really threatened in a 76-48 defeat at the hands of No. 2 Union of Tennessee on the second night of the Jackson Rotary Classic in Jackson, Tennessee.
The loss was the Mustangs’ third in a row and dropped them to 2-3.
One night after shooting just 24% from the field in the opening 20 minutes against Freed Hardeman, the Mustangs were just one tick better (25%) against the second-ranked Bulldogs.
It wasn’t all inaccuracy from the field that led to a 10-2 Bulldog lead five minutes into play. It also didn’t help that the Mustangs turned the ball over four times in that window of time.
Still, the Mustangs made a game of it when Lauren Labat sparked a 5-0 run with a three-pointer and when Lena Rivera added two free throws, the deficit had shrunk to 10-7. However, that was as close as the Mustangs would get as the Bulldogs ripped off seven consecutive points to go up by 10 at the 8:44 mark.
The deficit grew to as many as 15 points (26-11) with 5:36 remaining in the first half before a pair of Morgan Schwegler free throws and a Zoe Scott trifecta closed the gap to 10 points once again. They were still down 29-19 at the 1:26 mark but Union closed the half with a 5-2 spurt for a 34-21 lead at halftime.
While the Mustangs were struggling from the field, Union was just plain consistent, hitting 47% of their attempts over the opening 20 minutes.
They did even better, far better in a scintillating second half when they converted at nearly 70% (16-23). It started early with a 9-4 skein in the first five minutes of the second period, drawing away to a 43-27 lead. A Lindsey Levanen bucket with 14:12 left proved to just an interruption as the Bulldogs surged further with an 8-0 that expanded the advantage to 51-29 halfway through the final period.
From then on, it was a matter of by how much the Bulldogs would win. The margin grew to a game-high 33 points (67-34) with 5:34 remaining and the local team cruised the rest of the way.
The Mustangs improved their shooting to 38.5% (10-26) in the second half and finished the game at just under 33%.
Labat was the only Mustang in double figures, coming off the bench to drain a trio of three-pointers en route to a team-high 13 points. Schwegler added eight more and Kristen Huff hauled down a team-best five rebounds.
The Mustangs conclude their three-game trip to the South on Saturday evening when they take on No. 6 Bethel of Tennessee.