By Tyler Wood

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida women’s basketball team couldn’t stop the undefeated Union Bulldogs Saturday, as the Argos dropped its home contest Saturday 81-62 at the UWF Field House.

Missed shots, poor interior defense and a strong Bulldogs’ full-court press created a steep hill to climb and the Argos dropped to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Gulf South Conference.

The Bulldogs (7-0, 2-0 GSC) shot 67 percent from inside the three-point arc as Union guard Jada Smith connected on 9-of-13 shots for 24 points to help keep Union’s perfect season intact. Forward Morgan Martin recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 80 percent from the floor.

The Argos struggled offensively, shooting just 37.9 percent and turning the ball over 16 times.

Coach Stephanie Lawrence-Yelton said the game was more than just a loss and that it helped the Argos gauge where they are in relation to the best of Division-II.

“It’s a growing period,” Yelton said. “We’ll step up to the challenge. We’ve been doing that all season long, and that’s what I like about our team. We are competitors.”

Senior forward Halee Nieman said the team is motivated despite the loss and will continue to improve.

“I think that it’s very much a learning opportunity for our whole team,” Nieman said. “This is something that we can’t hang our heads on. We have to actually learn from this game.”

Toni Brewer led the Argos in scoring with 17 points, but shot just 33 percent from the floor. Nieman tallied 13 points and grabbed six rebounds and guard Anna Hall nearly recorded another triple-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Yelton said the 19-point defeat served another purpose: getting valuable playing time for younger players.

“There’s a reason I put our subs in at the end of the game,” Yelton said. “They need a little taste of what it’s like; the energy that the other team plays with, the aggressiveness. And, when you make a mistake on defense, they really make you pay.”

This loss won’t sour the attitude of a program that has won five of its seven games to begin the season, with both losses coming to top-15 teams.

The Argos will host Tuskegee University (5-1) Wednesday for a matinee at 11 a.m. in the fourth of a five-game homestand for the Argos.

For more information and the full women’s basketball schedule, visit GoArgos.com

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