By James Vallone
ROME -- The Lady Hawks withstood a late rally by Union, one that saw the visiting team take the lead with 16 seconds to play, to see one of the leading scorers for the Lady Hawks hit a 3-pointer to win the game from the Winthrop-King Centre.
Union came into the game with the top record in the GSC and winners of three straight games, but the Lady Hawks (9-6, 5-3 GSC) took the early lead and ran out to a 13-2 lead to start the game.
The first half would be played to a 29-28 score in favor of the home team, thanks to a 12-0 run midway through the half to put Union on top. The run saw Shelby Ashcroft score four points, while Rebecca Sharpe would hit a pair of 3-point shots.
The Lady Hawks would see an 11 point second half lead disappear over a five-minute span in the second half to find themselves down by one with less than ten minutes remaining.
The remainder of the game would see each team trade baskets and free throws with the Lady Hawks holding a 61-58 advantage with 1:23 remaining in the game.
Amy Philamlee would hit a 3-pointer and make an easy lay-up to put Union (10-5, 5-2 GSC) on top inside of the final minute.
Karisma Boykin would attempt a 3-pointer but the shot would not be on target, Kristin Nash would grab the rebound and drive to the rim before kicking it back to Boykin for the open look behind the arc. This time Boykin would deliver – on her way to capping a game high 19 points.
Philamlee would get off one last shot, but it would be offline.
Boykin would go a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, including a pair to run the lead for the Lady Hawks to five before Union mounted their comeback.
Three other Lady Hawk starters would reach double digits in points, Ieshia Alexander (12), Shelby Farrer (11), and Lynette Harris (10). Harris would record the game high nine rebounds, while also dishing out three assists – the same number of assists as Boykin.
Nash would score eight points, while leading all players with five assists.
The Lady Hawks would win the close rebounding battle during the game, with a 15-10 advantage on the offensive glass. The Lady Hawks would use this to claim the 16-9 edge in second chance points.
"It was a great win today against a very good Union team" said coach Vic Mitchell. "We showed a lot of heart with the way we battled, and it was just a hard fought game by both team that came down to us getting an offensive rebound by Kristin Nash and her being under control enough to find Karisma Boykin for the game winner. Really proud of our team and now they will get a couple of well-deserved days off before getting back to practice on Tuesday."
Philamlee had 18 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs, while Amber Rechis (16) and Ascraft (14) would also score in double digits.
The Lady Hawks will return to action this week from the Winthrop-King Centre on January 24 against Albany State with a 6 pm tip-off.