March 3 proved to be an exciting night for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. In the first round of the Gulf South Conference tournament both teams were victorious and advanced to the semifinal round, which will be played at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
The men traveled to Shorter University in Rome, Georgia to take on the fourth seeded Shorter Hawks.
The game proved to be a close one as Union was able to hold on to a one point lead at halftime, 39-38. Union shot 43 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc in the first half.
The second half was played just as close with both teams scoring 38 points, making the final score 77-76, Union.
The Bulldogs were led by Marterrace Brock, junior guard and sports management major, with 24 points and four assists. Jordan Montgomery, junior guard and political science major, scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Corieon Pearson, senior guard and business management major, was very encouraged by the team effort the Bulldogs put forth during the game.
“We were out there competing for each other and it showed in our effort and the way we played,” Pearson said. “The trust we had in one another was also great. We made plays for our brothers and they came through with big play after big play whether it was on the offensive end or a big rebound on the defensive end.”
Union moves on to play No. 1 seeded University of Alabama in Huntsville on March 6 in the semifinals of the GSC tournament.
According to Pearson the team is preparing for UAH the same way they prepare for any other team.
“As long as we’re about excellence and giving our best effort then we will be okay. We haven’t won a game against them since joining the NCAA, so this is the perfect opportunity to get the first,” Pearson said.
The women’s basketball team also played a tough 40 minutes of basketball in the first round of the tournament. The No. 1 seeded Lady Bulldogs took on No. 8 UAH at the Fred Delay Gymnasium.
The first half went back and forth as both teams shot well above 50 percent from behind the three point line. At halftime the score was tied 35-35.
Union went through a bit of a scoring drought with ten minutes left in the second half, but continued to stay close and were able to go up by five points with 1:37 left to play. The Lady Bulldogs were then able to hold off the Lady Chargers with a final score of 73-69.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Amy Philamlee, senior guard and exercise science major, with 37 points and four assists. Amber Rechis, senior guard and exercise science major, and Jaclissa Haislip, a senior forward earning her master’s degree in business administration, each had nine points.
Haislip was very pleased with the defensive mindset and team effort that was displayed by her teammates against UAH.
“We played as a team and continued to fight through no matter what the score was all night long,” Haislip said. “We really focused on defense this week in practice, as we did not defend them very well the last time we played them. I feel like our defense tonight made the difference in the end.”
The Lady Bulldogs also advance to the semifinal game of the GSC tournament and will take on the No. 4 University of West Georgia on March 6 at 12 p.m.