JACKSON, Tenn. - 1/12/2008 - The No. 1 ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs built a 30-point halftime lead, and then held off No. 14 Lambuth University (Tenn.) in the second half for an 89-74 victory. Union improved to 15-0 on the season and 4-0 in the TranSouth Conference. Lambuth dropped to 9-6 overall and 1-2 in league play.
This game featured the last three NAIA Women’s National Champions (Union 2005, 2006; Lambuth 2007).
For Union, this marked their 36th win in their last 38 games, dating back to January 11, 2007. The Lady Bulldogs have won three of their last five against Lambuth and 15-of-17 in the series.
The first half started with Union’s lone senior Crystal Eason draining a three pointer just eight seconds into the game. Lambuth answered back with five straight points to lead 5-3. The Lady Eagles also led Union 8-7 at the 16:19 mark of the first half. Union took the lead back on a field goal by Josephine Owino and never looked back. The Lady Bulldogs closed out the final 16 minutes of the first half, outscoring Lambuth 44-15 to take a 53-23 halftime lead. Union led by as many as 34 points (53-19) in the first half. Union shot 70-percent from the field in the first half, including 64-percent (9-14) from three-point range.
Union’s first half performance showed evidence of their shooting capabilities in all three shooting categories. Going into the game, Union ranked No. 1 in the NAIA with a .494 field goal percentage, No. 7 with a .747 free throw percentage, and No. 8 with a .387 three-point percentage.
The second half saw Lambuth prove their heart as the Lady Eagles started chipping away at the Union lead. Lambuth’s Dee Preyer made a three pointer to start the half and sparked an 11-0 run to cut Union’s lead down to 19 points. Union responded to push the lead back to 22 points, 60-38 with 16:23 left to play. Over the next 10 minutes, Union’s lead floated between 15 points and 19 points, but the Lady Bulldogs never allowed Lambuth to make that one big run to get back into the game. Lambuth managed to cut the lead down to 14 points late on a few occasions, then to 13 points (87-74) with just eight seconds left. Union’s Merideth Jacobs sank two free throws with three seconds left to make the final score 89-74. Those two free throws for Jacobs capped off a perfect second half from the free throw line for Union (18-18).
Union sophomore guard Kaitlin Dudley led six Lady Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points. Kayla Hudson added 16 points, including 2-of-3 from three point range and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Merideth Jacobs added 15 points in the game and Jessica Graves scored 10 points. Josephine Owino and Zeinab Chan added 10 points each, with Owino’s grabbing a game-high nine rebounds.
Union shot 56-percent from the field in the game, including 46-precent (11-24) from behind the arc. Union made all 20 of their free throws in the game, including 18-of-18 in the second half. Union out rebounded Lambuth 34-26, with Lambuth winning the offensive glass battle 9-6.
Lambuth was led by Dee Preyer with 18 points, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. Nonna Lavea added 16 points, Chytearra Kintchen scored 15 points, and Yolanda Johnson posted 12 points.
Lambuth shot 44-percent from the field, including 27-percent (6-22) from behind the arc. Lambuth made 14-of-17 free throws for 82-percent.
Up next for Union will be a road conference game at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. on Monday, January 14. The women’s game will start at 6:00 pm with the men to follow at 8:00 pm.
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Fax: (731) 661-5182