JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/14/2008 - The Union University Lady Bulldogs, No.1 in the NAIA for the eighth straight ranking, posted a hard fought 82-76 win at No. 14 Lambuth University on Thursday night. With the win, Union improved their team’s best start in school history to 24-0 overall and 12-0 in the TranSouth. Union’s victory also set a school record with their 24th straight win, breaking the old record of 23 set back in 1994-95. The loss snapped Lambuth’s nine-game winning streak, falling to 18-8 on the season and 10-4 in league play.
Union has now won 44 of their past 46 games dating back to January 11, 2007. Lambuth has been the only team to defeat Union during the 46-game stretch, both times by two points. During the stretch, Union is 4-2 versus the Lady Eagles.
The first half started with Union scoring first on a lay-up by Josephine Owino. However, the Lambuth Lady Eagles played off the home crowd and posted a 9-0 run to gain the lead. The Lady Eagles continued to increase the margin as they wentfor the upset. Lambuth’s biggest lead of the game was 12 points, which they held three different times in the first half, the latest coming 22-10 with 11:05 left in the first half. Union’s second ranked three-point percentage and third ranked 10 three pointers made per game finally started to make an impact. Union used six made three pointers to spark a 24-10 run that closed out the half. Union tied the game at 32-32 with a free throw from Merideth Jacobs, followed by a basket by Owino to give Union their first lead since 2-0, at 34-32 going into the break.
Union continued the momentum and scored the first four points of the second half to stretch the lead to 38-32. But Lambuth was determined not to let Union’s No. 1 ranked scoring margin be a factor in this game. The Lady Eagles rallied to cut the Union lead done to just one point, 42-41, with 15:38 left to play. Union held off the Lady Eagles for a while, but Lambuth was able to take a brief lead at 56-54 with 10:34 left on a basket by Kristin Brison. Union’s Kaitlin Dudley then scored four straight points for Union to give the Lady Bulldogs the lead for good. Union led by as many as seven points on four different occasions down the stretch, and never lost the lead. The latest seven-point advantage came with 15 seconds left, 79-72, following two free throws from Kayla Hudson. Union sank 6-of-8 free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the 82-76 win.
This match up between the past three NAIA National Champions (Union 2005, 2006; Lambuth 2007) proved to be worth the ticket on this evening. Union won the earlier meeting 89-74 after leading 53-23 at the half.
Union was led by Josephine Owino with 24 points, 18 of which came in the second half, and nine rebounds. Kaitlin Dudley added 19 points, Kayla Hudson scored 12 points, and Jessica Graves added 10 points. Union shot 47-percent from the field, 38-percent (8-21) from three-point range, and 71-percent (20-28) from the free throw line.
Lambuth was led by Chytearra Kintchen with 24 points. Dee Preyer added 14 points and Donna Lavea scored 12 points. Lambuth shot 45-percent from the field, 47-percent (7-15) from behind the arc, and 73-percent (11-15) from the charity stripe.
Up next for Union will be a trip to Pulaski, Tennessee for a conference match at Martin Methodist College. The women will play at 2:00 pm with the men to follow at 4:00 pm.
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