JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/2/2007 - The No. 5 ranked Union University Bulldogs will play in the TranSouth Tournament Championship game after defeating No.19 Lambuth University 97-74. With the win, Union improved to 26-5 on the season while Lambuth dropped to 22-9 overall.
Union has now won 17 of their past 18 games. The Lady Bulldogs also earn a spot in their fifteenth conference title game in the past 16 years. During the last 15 years, Union has won nine tournament titles, including eight in a row from 1996-2003.
Union and Lambuth started the game by swapping baskets over the first several minutes. Union led by as many as four points early, while Lambuth posted their biggest lead of the game at three points. However, Union began to pull away midway through the first half as senior Natanya Smith took over, scoring 15 of her 20 points in the first 20 minutes. Union matched their biggest lead of the first half with a 51-33 halftime lead.
In the second half, Union quickly jumped up by 20 points but maintained the large lead for the first 10 minutes of play in the second half. However, as all good teams do, Lambuth mounted a rally and cut the Union lead to just 12 points on two different occasions. However, three pointers by each Jessica Graves and Crystal Eason, along with a three-point play by Latorya Fuller stumped the Lambuth rally. Union sank 13-of-15 free throws in the second half to sail to a 97-74 win.
Union, the NAIA’s No. 1 field goal shooting team, shot 51-percent from the field and 35-percent (6-17) from behind the arc. Union also posted an impressive 86-percent (19-22) from the free throw line.
Lambuth managed just 34-percent from the field and only 23-percent (7-31) from behind the arc. Lambuth was almost perfect from the free throw line, making 21-of-22 for 96-percent.
Union was paced with six players in double figures led by Jessica Graves and Natanya Smith with 20 points each. Crystal Eason and Latorya Fuller scored 13 points each, while Kaitlin Dudley added 12 points and Josepine Owino scored 11 points.
Lambuth was led by Meghan Fugua with a game-high 27 points. Reggie Maddox added 17 points and Jodi Gunter scored 13 points.
Union, the regular season champion and No. 1 seed, will host No. 2 seeded Trevecca Nazarene University for the tournament championship on Monday, March 5 at 7:00 pm. Union and Trevecca Nazarene split two regular season meetings, losing at Trevecca Nazarene 69-63 and winning at Union 97-70.
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