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, Tenn.
The loss was the Mustangs’ third in a row and dropped them to 2-3.
One night after shooting just 24 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes against Freed Hardeman, the Mustangs were just one tick better (25 percent) 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 percent 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 percent (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 percent (10-26) in the second half and finished the game at just under 33 percent.
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.