JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/11/2008 - The No. 1 ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs shook off the early rust to post a 92-75 win over Cumberland University (Tenn.) on Monday night. The game was moved from Union's Fred DeLay Gymnasium to just down the street at Jackson Christian School. Union's gym is currently being used in the recovery efforts following last Tuesday night's tornado that left the campus, mainly the student housing, in a pile of rubble. This was the first game in seven days for Union.
With the win, Union increased their best start to a season in school history to 23-0. The 23 straight wins also equals the team's record for longest winning streak (23 games during the 1994-95 season). Union has also posted 43 wins in their past 45 games, dating back to January 11, 2007.
Union opened the game with two straight baskets by sophomore All-American Kaitlyn Dudley to take a quick 4-0 lead. However, Union struggled over the next 10 minutes to make shots as they are used to. Union, who ranks No. 1 in the nation in field goal percentage and No. 2 in the NAIA in three point percentage, posted just 40-percent shooting from the field, including just 25-percent (3-12) from behind the arc. Cumberland posted a 26-12 run to take a 10-point lead, 26-16, with 9:22 left in the first half. Union responded with a 20-4 run to take their largest lead of the first half at 36-30 with 2:32 left. Union went into the locker room holding a 38-36 advantage.
In the second half, Union quickly stretched their lead out to 11 points, 50-39, over the first three-plus minutes in the second half. Cumberland answered with a three-point play from Keshia Brown to cut the lead back down to eight points. But Union controlled the rest of the game. Union jumped out to their biggest lead of the game at 26 points, 82-56 with 6:48 left to play. The Lady Bulldogs coasted to victory with a 92-75 win.
Union was led by Kaitlin Dudley with 20 points. Josephine Owino added a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out of the contest. Jessica Graves added 17 points, Zeinab Chan doubled-up with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Kayla Hudson posted 10 points and eight assists. Lindsey Flynn, who returned to the gym where she played her high school basketball, drained a three pointer late in the game which brought a roaring cheer from the Union fans and her former JCS classmates. Union shot 49-percent from the field, 35-percent (8-23) from behind the arc, and 60-percent (22-37) from the free throw line. The second half saw Union post 61-percent and 46-percent (5-11) from the field and three point line respectively.
Cumberland was led by Keshia Brown with 13 points. Chaquaila Gaten added 12 points, Lucie Luprichova scored 11 points, and Ashley Matthews posted 10 points. Keshia Forrest grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Cumberland shot 32-percent from the field, 19-percent (5-27) from behind the arc, and 67-percent (27-33) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a match up at crosstown rival Lambuth University (Tenn.) on Thursday night, February 14. Lambuth's two victories over Union on last-second shots are the only blemishes on Union's record over the last 45 games. The women will play at 6:00 pm followed by the men's game at 8:00 pm.
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Fax: (731) 661-5182