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No. 1 Union Ladies Prevail in Clash of NAIA Powers

HENDERSON, Tenn. - 1/24/2008 - The topped ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs held on for a 77-69 win at No. 4 Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.). With the win, Union improved their perfect start on the season to 18-0 overall and 7-0 in the TranSouth. Freed-Hardeman dropped to 16-3 on the season and 6-1 in league play.

Dating back to January 11 of last season, the Union Lady Bulldogs have won 39 of their last 41 games.

Freed-Hardeman scored first in the game with a layup by Jana Cross. Union answered with a jumper by senior guard Crystal Eason to knot the game at 2-2. This back and forth basketball with neither team able to separate from the other. Four points was the biggest lead of the first half for either team. Freed-Hardeman led by four points on two occasions in the first half, 8-4 at the 17:08 mark and 19-15 with 10:43 left in the first half. Union held a four-point advantage three different times, with the first coming 25-21 following a three pointer by Merideth Jacobs with 7:19 left. The Lady Lions answered back to take a 30-27 lead on a three pointer by Megan Thompson. After back-to-back baskets by Josephine Owino, Union pulled back up by four points, 34-30 at the 3:18 mark. Union held the four-point advantage, 40-36 at the half.

The second half started with a three pointer by Kristal Edney of Freed-Hardeman. Edney finished the game by making seven three pointers, including four threes in the second half. Union answered to maintain the lead and with 15:40 left in the game, Union led by eight, 52-44. The Lady Bulldogs held that eight point advantage at 56-48 with 13:58 left in the game. Freed-Hardeman proved their No. 4 ranking and used the home crowd to help fuel a 17-7 run to take a 65-63 lead with 4:46 left in the game. The No. 1 ranked Union Lady Bulldogs showed their big-game experience with back-to-back baskets, a jumper by Eason and a three pointer by Kaitlin Dudley to jump back up by three points, 68-65. Over the final three minutes of the game, Union out scored the Lady Lions 9-4, including a combined seven straight free throws from Dudley, Eason, and Kayla Hudson in the final 35 seconds to seal the 77-69 win. The eight point lead in which Union held four times in the second half, was the biggest of the game.

The game produced nine lead changes, five times by Union and four by Freed-Hardeman. The game was also tied on 10 different occasions.

Union was led by Josephine Owino with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Crystal Eason added 18 points, including two three pointers. Kaitlin Dudley added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Union shot 50-percent from the field, including 35-percent (6-17) from behind the arc. The Lady Bulldogs also made 9-of-12 free throws for 75-percent.

Freed-Hardeman was led by Kristal Edney off the bench with 25 points, including 7-of-8 from behind the arc. Jana Cross and Megan Thompson each added 13 points. The Lady Lions shot 45-percent from the field, 46-percent (10-22) from behind the arc, and 70-percent (10-14) from the free throw line.

Up next for Union will be another road conference game on Saturday, January 26 at Blue Mountain College (Miss.). The women game will start at 2:00 pm with the men to follow at 4:00 pm.


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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