JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/18/2008 - The Union University women’s basketball team continued to receive honors following the perfect season to this point. At the 2008 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament Banquet, the team was awarded the NAIA Buffalo Five Star Champions of Character Award. In the individual honors, Union’s Josephine Owino was named the State Farm/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NAIA National Player of the Year. Also, Union Head Coach Mark Campbell was named the Russell Athletic/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year. Sophomore guard Kaitlin Dudley joined Owino on the WBCA All-American Team list. Union as a team was awarded the WBCA Character Award.
Owino, a 6-foot-4 junior center from Mombosa, Kenya, adds this national player of the year honor to her TranSouth Conference Player of the Year honor received earlier this month. Owino leads the NAIA with a .668 field-goal percentage. She also ranks fourth in the NAIA with 2.5 blocks per game and 10th in the NAIA with 18.8 points per game. Owino recorded 14 double-doubles on the season, and almost averaged a double-double with her 18.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. She posted double figures in 31 of her 32 games through the regular season and conference tournament. Owino scored over 20 points in a game 13 times, including posting a career-high 34 points in a win over No. 2 Lee University. Owino passed the 1000 point mark in her career this season. In just her three years at Union, she has accumulated 1,435 points and 676 rebounds.
Campbell, the NAIA’s winningest active coach with at least five years experience, earns his second WBCA NAIA Coach of the Year honor (2004). Campbell lead Union to a perfect 29-0 regular season. He also led Union to their second straight TranSouth South Regular Season and Tournament Title. During his nine years at Union, he has captured six TranSouth Regular Season titles, five TranSouth Tournament titles, and two NAIA National Titles, (2005 and 2006). He has also led Union to the national tournament semifinals four times, including each of the past three seasons. Campbell’s current career coaching record at Union is 288-42 (.873).
Dudley, a 5-foot-10 sophomore from Dyer, Tennessee, adds this honor to her first team All-Conference award from earlier in the month. She finished just behind Owino 17.3 points per game for Union. Dudley lead Union with 123 made free throw, and was second in field-goals and three pointers made. She scored double figures in points in 28 of the team’s 32 games entering the national tournament. Dudley ranks No. 1 in the NAIA with a .911 free-throw percentage. She is also seventh in the NAIA with a .451 (60-133) three-point percentage. In just her sophomore season, Dudley passed the 1000 career point mark. She recorded a career-high 34 points in a win over Lyon College and a career-high 11 rebounds in a win over No. 7 Freed-Hardeman.
Union is 32-0 on the season entering the NAIA National Tournament. The team earned the No. 1 overall seed and will play on Wednesday night, March 19 at 8:00 pm at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn. Union is coming off back-to-back TranSouth Regular Season and Tournament Titles, along with winning two NAIA National Championships in the past three seasons.
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