LEBANON, Tenn. - 1/15/2008 - The No. 1 ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs kept their perfect start to the season alive with a 100-83 win over No. 23 Cumberland University (Tenn.). Union improved to 16-0 on the season and 5-0 in the TranSouth. Cumberland dropped to 9-7 overall and 1-3 in league play.
With the win, the Union Lady Bulldogs have now won 37 of their last 39 games dating back to January 11 of last season.
The first 20 minutes of the game failed to produce any defense as both teams combined for 108 points. Union jumped out to a quick 14-4 lead capped off by a Crystal Eason three-pointer. Eason posted 16 first-half points for Union, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc. Cumberland answered the fast start by Union as the home Lady Bulldogs cut the Union lead back down to just two points. Union again used the three-pointer to rebuild a double-digit lead. Union stretched their lead to the biggest of the half at 35-21 following a three pointer by Merideth Jacobs with 9:32 left. Cumberland got the Union lead down to eight points twice in the first half at 52-44 and 56-48, with the later coming inside a minute to play. Union was able to score the last four points of the half to set their halftime lead to 60-48. Union’s offense that posted 60 first half points was handled by freshman guard Kayla Hudson who dished out 11 first half assists.
For the second straight game, Union shot the lights out during the first half of a game. Over the first twenty minutes, Union shot 69-percent from the field, including 58-percent (7-12) from behind the arc.
In the second half, Union posted the first four points to increase the lead to 64-48. Cumberland responded to cut the lead quickly back down to 10 points. However, Union’s three-point shooting helped stop any Cumberland rally. After a made three by Kaitlin Dudley, Union’s lead was back to 14 points at 69-55 with 14:05 left in the game. Union then pushed the lead to 80-62 with 9:40 to play, but had to face one more rally by home team. Cumberland cut the Union lead to nine points, 85-76, with just 6:50 to play. However, more big shots down the stretch by Union once again put the Union lead back into double figures. Union quickly jumped back up by 18 points at 96-78 capped by a three from Humboldt native, Jessica Graves. Union lead again, 100-82 on two free throws by Graves, before coming away with the 100-83 final.
Union was led by Josephine Owino with 25 points. Graves added 20 points, Eason finished with 18 points, and Dudley added 10 points. Hudson posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 assists. Union shot 56-percent from the field in the game, including 50-percent (11-22) from three point range. Union also sank 17-of-28 free throws for 61-percent.
Cumberland was led by Renae Williams’ double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Keshia Brown added 21 points, while Ashley Matthews scored 13 points. Cumberland shot 40-percent from the field, including 23-percent (5-22) from behind the arc. Cumberland made 20-of-26 free throws for 77-percent.
Up next for Union will be a home conference game versus Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) on Saturday, January 19. The women will play at 2:00 pm, followed by the men at 4:00 pm.
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