In their first year of NCAA Division II eligibility, the women’s basketball team was named the Gulf South Conference tournament champions.
This is the second GSC championship Union has won this academic year. The women’s cross country team brought home the first title in November.
The Lady Bulldogs took on Delta State University on Saturday, March 7 at the Pete Hanna Center on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
The team defeated the University of West Georgia, 81-50 on Friday, March 6 in order to advance to the championship game.
In Saturday’s game, Union was led by Kelsey Risner, junior exercise science major and guard, with 15 points. Amy Philamlee, senior exercise science major and guard, added 14 points and led with five assists. DeAnna Thompson, senior physical education major and forward, led with eight rebounds.
Philamlee made the all-tournament team and was named the 2015 GSC Most Outstanding Player. Emily Sissom, senior special education major and guard, joined Philamlee on the all-tournament team.
“Today means a lot to me,” Philamlee said. “I am so proud of our team and how we fought through. Today was a total team effort and everyone contributed whether it was on the defensive or offensive end. We have worked hard and I am happy that our hard work is paying off.”
Philamlee attributed the team’s defense as the key to their win.
“The last time we played Delta State we let them have too many easy baskets,” Philamlee said. “I am proud that we made adjustments and didn’t let that happen again today.”
Risner was also very proud of the team’s effort and way they came out and played.
“I think it was awesome for us to be playing for the championship and since we lost to Delta State last time, it made this win even better,” Risner said. “This was our third time playing them this season and so we knew what each of their players were capable of and we did a really good job stopping them and frustrating some of their key players.”
With the win, the women’s team earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The tournament includes the regional tournament which will likely be held on March 13 and 14 at Union.