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Local college teams competing well in conference play

As classes resume from holiday breaks this week in high schools and some colleges, local college basketball teams have emerged from their own abbreviated holiday breaks to get back to competition.

In NCAA Division II, Lane College and Union University have about two months remaining before their conference tournaments – Southern Intercollegiate Athletic for Lane and Gulf South for Union.

As they return, the four combined teams from the two four-year universities have posted prolific records so far.

The Lady Bulldogs at Union posted a 9-2 record coming out of December before a game at Alabama-Huntsville on Jan. 2.

Their two losses came in consecutive games in early December to West Florida and Valdosta State – on the same road trip in the second weekend of the month by three points at WFU and six points at VSU.

Since then, the Lady Bulldogs have posted wins over Montevallo, Auburn-Montgomery and Lane by an average of nearly 21 points per win.

Since both of Union’s losses are in conference play, they’re currently third behind unbeaten Lee University (9-0) and Valdosta State (8-1). Lee comes to Union on Jan. 7.

As for the Lady Dragons, they entered 2023 with an 8-3 record that included a two-game losing streak with losses to Clark-Atlanta and the game at Union.

Before the losing skid, Lane had won seven-straight by an average of 15 points.

The Lady Dragons’ 4-1 conference record is good enough for third place in the SIAC West Division so far, a game behind leader Tuskegee (6-1) and half-game behind Central State (5-1).

On the men’s side, the Dragons have struggled with a 5-7 record and ended December having lost four of their last five games.

Two of those losses were one-possession games that they fell short by two points.

While their 3-3 conference record has them near the bottom of the SIAC West standings, they’re only two games behind division leader Lemoyne-Owen.

For the Bulldogs, their overall record is 8-5, but their GSC record is 7-2, which is good enough to be part of a five-way tie for first at the top of the conference.

Their two conference losses are to two of the other teams in the tie – West Alabama and West Georgia. The other two teams in the tie are coming up in their schedule in early January – Alabama-Huntsville on Jan. 2 and Lee on Jan. 7.

After having a win then a loss in their first two games of the season, the Bulldogs’ season has been full of streaks – three wins (average of eight points per game), three losses (by just under 11 points per game), and five wins (8.4 points per game) before the loss at West Alabama on Dec. 31.

At Jackson State Community College, the Lady Green Jays are 7-3 with a 2-3 record in Tennessee Junior College Conference play.

The men’s team has posted a 1-4 record, all of which are conference games.

The most recent game for the men’s team was on Dec. 3, while the women’s team’s last game was on Dec. 11.

Their next game is Jan. 11 at Volunteer State with their next home game coming on Jan. 14 against Roane State.

Brandon Shields,

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