ATLANTA, Ga. (roarlions.com) – Jaida Bond scored a career-high 26 points and the University of North Alabama women's basketball team overcame a slow start to post an 85-67 win over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Saturday on the opening day of the Georgia State Classic. The fifth straight victory gives UNA an 8-2 record on the season.
Bond, a freshman from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was 7-of-12 from the floor, including four three-point baskets. The Lions, however, trailed throughout most of the first half.
SIUE led 14-11 at the end of the first quarter. It was only the third time this year the Lions did not outscore their opponent in the opening frame. The Cougars led 26-20 midway through the second quarter before UNA closed the half on a 15-2 run.
Ivy Wallen scored seven straight points during the spurt. It was the first game back after missing two games with an injury for the senior from Anderson. Her three-pointer at the 1:39 mark gave UNA its first lead of the game at 28-26.
The Lions led 30-28 in the final minute of play before Olivia Noah scored five straight points. She connected on a trey with 35 seconds left, then hit another jumper as time expired to give North Alabama a 35-28 lead at the break.
UNA was able to extend its lead over the final two quarters. As a team, the Lions were 9-of-11 from the floor in the third period. Brittany Panetti scored eight of her 10 points in the frame as North Alabama stretched its lead to 61-50.
SIUE could never get within single digits the rest of the way. Bond added 10 more points in the fourth quarter and UNA secured its fifth straight games with at least 80 points.
Wallen finished with a double-double that included 16 points and 10 assists. It was her second straight game and fifth of the season with a double-digit assist total. Emma Wallen added 12 points on the day while Noah and Panetti tossed in 10 points each.
During North Alabama's win streak, a different player has led the team in scoring each game.
UNA will remain on the Georgia State campus to face South Carolina State on Sunday. Tip-off is set for noon (Central) on the campus of Georgia State University.
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.
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