Women prevail in ASUN senior night against Bison

Senior guard Savannah Stults looks to score a lay-up in their 12-point win against ASUN foe Lipscomb. The Lions gear up for the upcoming ASUN tournament. 

University of North Alabama women’s basketball defeated Lipscomb university 71-50 in their final home game of the regular season Saturday.

The Lions were lead to victory by starting forward Brittany Panetti, who lead the game with 16 points and had four rebounds. Senior guard Savannah Stults was also a key player, scoring 10 points off the bench and finishing the game with three rebounds and an assist. This gives UNA 19 wins on the year with one game remaining in the regular season.

Senior forward Katelyn Nunley credited the team’s effort as the deciding factor in this game.

“We just go out there and leave it all on the court,” Nunley said, “when we start getting stops and playing defense, that’s what opens our transition game, and everything’s easy after that. It just falls into place.”

Lions head coach Missy Tiber said that the team brought a lot of energy after halftime to secure the win. The Lions led at halftime by only three points, 31-28. It was not until the third quarter that UNA began to break away, scoring 24 points compared to Lipscomb’s eight.

Tiber said, “In the second half, especially the third quarter, we were just getting deflections, steals, making [Lipscomb] take tough shots. Our communication was good. Then we got all kinds of scores in transition and made the game easier for ourselves.”

Lipscomb’s guard Carleigh Short led the Bison with 11 points, and Sophomore guard Taylor Clark ended with nine points and 10 rebounds, leaving her one point shy of a double-double.

This was also Senior Day, signaling the final home game of the regular season for the Lions. The win was most satisfying for the team’s seniors, Katelyn Nunley and Savannah Stults, who will be leaving the team soon as they graduate from the University of North Alabama to pursue their careers.

“It was a big game for me and Katelyn both,” said Stults, “This team has put in a lot of work all year, and it showed tonight.”

Katelyn Nunley also reflected on her time at UNA, calling it fun and a good experience.

“I’m just glad we get to continue our season,” Nunley said.

Tiber lauded her seniors, saying that they were largely responsible for the Lions’ success and development over the last four years.

“These seniors will really be missed, you know? They’ve been a part of this program through the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Tiber said. The “ugly” that Tiber was referring to is the 2015 season, in which the Lions only accrued five wins. This was the seniors’ first season at UNA, but they have seen the team’s record steadily improve since.

With this win, UNA clinches a home game in the ASUN tournament in their first year as a Division I program. The Lions’ regular season will close after their final game against Liberty University this Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.