JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/5/2007 - The Union University Lady Bulldogs posted an 80-66 win over Trevecca Nazarene University in the championship game of the TranSouth Conference Tournament. For Union, this is the eighth TranSouth Tournament Championship in the 11-year history of the league. Union, ranked No. 5 in the nation, improved to 27-5 on the season. Trevecca Nazarene, ranked No. 9, dropped to 25-6 overall.
Union’s Natanya Smith, named the TranSouth Tournament MVP, helped Union to their 18th win in their past 19 games.
Union, the top seed in the conference tournament, fell behind early 3-0 to the No. 2 seeded Trevecca Nazarene Trojans. However, Union’s deficit was short-lived as the Lady Bulldogs went on a 24-2 run and led 24-5 with 11:08 left in the first half. The Trojans answered back to cut the lead to 13 points at one point in the first half but Union climbed back to lead by 20 points 43-23 with 1:57 left in the half. An 8-4 run by Trevecca Nazarene closed the half with Union up 47-31.
Any momentum Trevecca Nazarene had accumulated just before the half didn’t appear evident after the break as Union stretched their lead to 28 points with 15 minutes to play. However, a Trevecca Nazarene team that would not quit behind the efforts of freshman Abby Lawson, battled to the end. The Trojans forced sloppy play by the Lady Bulldogs over the final minutes and pulled to within 12 points. But time was against the Trojans as Union had been too dominate for three-fourths of the game and walked away tournament champions with an 80-66 win.
Union, the nation's leading field-goal-shooting team, shot 42-percent from the field and 36 percent (9-24) from behind the arc. The Lady Bulldogs continued their improved free throw shooting with a third straight game of 80-percent shooting (.810; 17-of-21).
Trevecca Nazarene shot 40-percent from the field and 27-percent (7-26) from behind the arc. The Trojans made 77-percent (13-17) of their free throws.
Union was led by the team’s two leading scoring on the season. Senior Natanya Smith and freshman Kaitlin Dudley posted 16 points each. Crystal Eason added 14 points and Josephine Owino added 11 points.
Trevecca Nazarene was led by freshman Abby Lawson who poured in a game-high 30 points. Kristen Archie added 10 points.
Joining Smith on the TranSouth All-Tournament team was Union’s Kaitlin Dudley, Trevecca Nazarene’s Kristen Archie and Abby Lawson, Lambuth’s Meghan Fuqua, and Martin Methodist’s Shontel Johnson.
Up next for Union will be the NAIA National Tournament on March 14-20 at Oman Arena, in Jackson, Tennessee. The Lady Bulldogs will begin the tournament as the two-time defending NAIA National Champions. Union will await the seedings and tournament schedule to be released by the NAIA on Wednesday, March 7. Joining Union from the TranSouth Conference will be Trevecca Nazarene, Lambuth University, Freed-Hardeman University, and Cumberland University.
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Fax: (731) 661-5182