JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/5/2010 - The No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University women’s basketball team will advance to the TranSouth Conference Tournament title game following an 86-69 win over No. 19 Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University on Friday. Union improved to 31-1 overall, while Trevecca Nazarene dropped to 21-10 on the season.
With the win, Union extended their home court winning streak to 60 games and their overall streak to 24 games.
Union has been to 12 of the 13 total TranSouth title games, including four straight. The only year they did not advance in the 14-year history of the league was 2006, when Union went on to win the NAIA national title. Union will play Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) in the title game on Monday. This will be the eighth time that Union and Freed-Hardeman have meet in the title game, with Union holding a 5-2 advantage. Union is 10-2 in their 12 previous title game appearances.
In the semifinal win over Trevecca Nazarene, Union jumped out to a 6-0 lead with back-to-back three pointers from Jessica Graves and Kayla Hudson. Trevecca Nazarene cut the lead down to 6-5, before Union posted 9-0 run to lead by 10, 15-5 at the 16:03 mark. Union extended their first half lead to as many as 14 points twice with the latest coming 38-24 with 5:37 left. Union held a 43-32 halftime lead.
Trevecca Nazarene quickly erased what seemed to be a comfortable lead for Union with a 12-0 run to start the second half. The half started with a three pointer from Christian Gibson, while two free throws from Abby Lawson capped the run, giving the Trojans their first lead at 44-43 with 15:34 left.
Union scored their first points of the half at the 15:15 mark on a layup from Graves to regain the lead. Trevecca Nazarene tied the game twice more, but never was able to take the lead.
With the score knotted at 52-52, Union went on a 9-1 run to go back up by eight points, 61-53 with 8:43 left. Union regained their shooting touch and slowly pushed the lead out to the 17-point victory.
Union was led by Graves and Kaitlin Dudley with 22 points each. Dudley moved to within 45 points of second place on Union’s all-time scoring list. Hudson posted 20 points and seven assists. Hudson is now just three assists away from reaching Union’s all-time assist record of 611. Lavanda Ross added 13 points for Union. Union shot 51 percent from the field, 53 percent (10-19) from long range and 76 percent (22-29) from the free-throw line.
Trevecca Nazarene was led by Gibson with 22 points. London Elie added 11 points and Rachel Raby scored 10 points. The Trojans shot 48 percent from the field, 33 percent (5-15) from behind the arc and 64 percent (16-25) from the free-throw line.
Union will host the Lady Lions of Freed-Hardeman at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 8.
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