NASHVILLE, Tenn. - 1/10/2008 - Union University, the top ranked team in the NAIA, earned a key TranSouth Conference road win with an 84-79 overtime win at No. 17 Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.). With the win, Union stays perfect at 14-0 overall and 3-0 in the TranSouth. Trevecca Nazarene dropped to 6-6 on the season and 0-2 in league play.
Union has now won 35 of their last 37 games, dating back to January 11, 2007.
In the first half, Union looked the part of the No. 1 team in the NAIA as the Lady Bulldogs pulled away from the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans. The Trojans led 8-7 at the 15:27 mark when Union’s Kayla Hudson sank a three pointer to give Union the lead. Over the final 15 minutes of the first half, Union used the hot three-point shooting of Hudson and Kaitlin Dudley to put the Lady Bulldogs out to a 15-point halftime lead at 42-28, their biggest lead of the game. Dudley and Hudson, a sophomore and freshman respectively, combined for 6-of-6 three pointers in the first twenty minutes.
However, the second started with Trevecca Nazarene stealing the momentum at home. The Lady Trojans proved their placed among the top women’s basketball programs in the nation with an explosive comeback. In the first five minute of play in the second half, the Trojans outscored Union 19-4 to tie the game at 47-47 on a three pointer by K.C. van Atta. Trevecca Nazarene and Union swapped leads over the next few minutes before the home Trojans jumped out to a 10-point, 65-55 lead with 7:07 left on a basket by Lawson. This 10-point lead was the largest of the game for the Trojans.
The lead was still 10 points for the Trojans at the 6:29 mark when Union freshman standout, Hudson, struck again with another three pointer. This sparked a run 14-3 Union run that put the Lady Bulldogs back on top, 69-68 with 1:23 remaining. That score remained as both teams swapped a turnover each on their next possessions, followed by Trevecca Nazarene’s Lawson missing the front end of a one-and-one. With Union still up by one, Hudson scored again to put Union up 71-68 with 10 seconds left. But 10 seconds proved to be enough for a Miriska Reed to drain a three pointer with three seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime at 71-71.
In overtime, Union showed the heart of a three-time NAIA National Champion (1998, 2005, 2006) as they overcame two second half comebacks by the home Trojans. Union scored six straight points to jump out to a 77-71 lead capped by a basket from junior Josephine Owino. Trevecca Nazarene cut Union’s overtime lead to three points on two occasions at 80-77 and 82-79. But two made free throws by Dudley with three seconds left finally sealed the win for Union.
Union was led by Kaitlin Dudley with 24 points, including 6-of-8 shooting from behind the arc and two of two from the free throw line. Kayla Hudson added 23 points on 5-of-6 shooting from behind the arc and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Josephine Owino posted 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. The Lady Bulldogs shot 49-percent from the field, including 52-percent (11-21) from behind the arc. Union also made 11-of-12 free throws for 92-percent. Union continues to be ranked in the Top-10 in the NAIA in all three shooting categories (FG, 3FG, FT).
Trevecca Nazarene was led by Jennifer Bognar with 21 points. Kristen Archie added 20 points, Mariska Reed posted 13 points, and Abby Lawson added 10 points. The Trojans shot 40-percent from the field, including 32-percent (6-19) from three-point range. Trevecca Nazarene made 11-of-14 free throws for 79-percent. Trevecca Nazarene won the rebound battle 46 to 29, including 20 to 9 on the offensive glass.
Up next for Union will be the cross-town rival game with Lambuth University (Tenn.) in a game that will feature the last three NAIA National Champions (Union 2005, 2006; Lambuth 2007). The only two losses on Union’s record in their last 37 games have come to Lambuth, both by just two points. The women’s game will begin Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 pm with the men to follow at 4:00 pm.
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