JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/21/2009 -
Owino Registers Second-Half Double-Double and Tournament-High 20 Rebounds
Zeinab Chan came off the bench to provide 10 points and 7 rebounds for Union, which will appear in its fifth straight semifinals
Josephine Owino tallied a second-half double-double, collecting 10 of her 15 points and 12 of her tournament-high 20 rebounds after halftime to lead No. 1-seeded Union (Tenn.) University into the national semifinals for the fifth consecutive season with a 65-59 win over No. 2-seeded Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) University Saturday evening at the 29th Annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.
Union led for less than 10 minutes in the contest, trailing for much of the second half until Owino sparked a 16-5 run over the final eight minutes of the game. Owino scored a basket in the paint that was followed by back-to-back Kayla Hudson three-pointers and a Merideth Jacobs trey that gave the Lady Bulldogs a 60-55 lead with 4:59 remaining in the game. From that point on, Point Loma Nazarene scored just one field goal until Brianna Colon broke free for a layup that cut Union’s six-point lead to 63-59 in the closing seconds of the game.
Owino was one of five Union players who scored in double figures. Kaitlin Dudley (13 points), Hudson (11 points) and Jacobs (11 points) each knocked down three treys, and Zeinab Chan contributed 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Lady Bulldogs, who out-rebounded Point Loma Nazarene by a 41-29 margin. Owino’s sixth rebound of the game was the 1,000th of her career, and she now has 1,014 during her four-year Union career.
Colleen Planeta matched Owino’s 15-point effort and grabbed nine rebounds. Kaitlyn Trotter was six-of-eight from the field for 13 points and nine rebounds, Amanda Franz tallied 12 points and Liah Ector dished out a game-high seven assists. Franz and Planeta scored back-to-back baskets that capped an early 9-2 run after Union scored the game’s opening bucket, giving the Sea Lions a 9-4 lead just over three minutes into the game. Point Loma Nazarene did not trail from that point until Dudley’s trey with 1:42 left in the first half sent Union into halftime with a 31-30 edge.
Planeta capped a 9-0 run to open the second half with her only trey of the game, giving Point Loma Nazarene its largest lead of the game at 39-31 with 17:39 remaining. The Sea Lions got the lead back to eight points twice more and led by seven points after a Colon three-pointer with 9:42 to play. After Union scored five straight to cut the lead to 51-49, Trotter converted a conventional three-point play with 8:01 left to increase the lead to 54-49 before Union’s push down the stretch.
Union (35-1) advances to Monday’s 6 p.m. semifinals matchup with No. 1-seeded Oklahoma Baptist. Point Loma Nazarene ends the season with a 27-7 overall record.
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