JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/21/2008 - Union University, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, remained perfect with a 91-62 victory over the No. 13 Cougars of Saint Xavier (Ill.) University. With the win the Union Lady Bulldogs move to 8-0 on the year, while the Cougars dropped to 3-1 on the season.
This game for Union marked the second of five straight games versus top-25 teams (defeated No. 24 Loyola 103-54, defeated No. 13 St. Xavier 91-62, vs. No. 6 Azusa Pacific, at No. 16 The Master’s, and at No. 2 Vanguard).
Union has won 38 straight regular season games, and 29 straight home games, but tonight’s started off as a tight contest. Saint Xavier answered a Union basket with a three pointer from Kathlyn McClain to give the Cougars an early 3-2 lead. Union answered with a 12-2 run to take nine point lead, eventually stretching the lead to 11 points, 31-19 at the 6:37 mark of the first half. However, it was Saint Xavier posting a 12-3 run to cut Union’s lead to just three points, 34-31, with a minute to play in the half. Both teams swapped baskets in the last minute, to set the halftime score at 36-33.
This marked the closest that any opponent has been to Union at the half this season. The second closest was 40-33 lead over St. Francis (Ky.) College back on Nov. 14.
In the second half, Union started play with a steady dose of last season’s NAIA Player of the Year, Josephine Owino. Owino scored Union’s first 13 points of the half to spark a 13-2 run as Union pushed their lead to 14 points, just three minutes into the second half. After Union stretched their lead to 16 points, St. Xavier cut it down to eight points, 55-47 with 12 minutes remaining. But for the second straight night, Union used second half shooting numbers of over 60-percent to put the game away.
Union shot 64-percent from the field, including 44-percent (4-9) from behind the arc in the second half. Union continued to build their lead and when the final buzzer sounded, Union held their biggest lead of the game at 29 points, 91-62.
Union was led by Owino’s game-high 30 points, including 22 in the second half. Owino also pulled down 10 boards in the game. Merideth Jacobs added 17 points, including 5-of-10 three pointers. Nine of Union’s 10 players scored in the game.
Saint Xavier was led by McClain with 22 points, including 5-for-11 three pointers. Erin Hannemann added 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Cougars.
Up next for Union will be the final game of the 2008 Rotary Classic when the Lady Bulldogs host No. 6 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) University at 9:00 pm on Saturday, Nov. 22.
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