JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/5/2008 - The NAIA’s top-ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs posted a 106-78 win over Cumberland University (Tenn.) in the quarterfinals of the TranSouth Conference Tournament. Union stays perfect on the season at 30-0, while Cumberland ends their season at 14-18. With the win, Union advances to play the four-seed, Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.), in a 7:00 pm game at Union on Friday night.
Union has won 51 of their last 53 games, dating back to January 11, 2007. In the national rankings released today, Union completed their season-long hold on the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA women’s poll. In fact, Union gained every first place vote on the season, with the exception of two votes in the preseason poll.
Union’s Josephine Owino scored the first basket for Union that started a 7-0 run to open the game. Union continued to dominate early by taking a 17-5 lead, just five minutes into the game. After Owino’s first basket, the next 15 points came from two Union reserves, Jessica Graves and Zeinab Chan. Chan posted nine straight points, while Graves sank two three pointers to cap the early Union run. Cumberland cut the lead down to seven points, 19-12, at the 12:40 mark, but Union answered. The Union Lady Bulldogs led by as many as 19 points, 47-28, in the first half. However, Cumberland closed out the half with a 15-7 run to cut the Union lead down to 11 points, 54-43, at the half.
In the second half, a three-pointer from Cumberland’s Ashley Matthews cut Union’s lead down to eight points. But two free throws by Kaitlin Dudley, and Union was back up by double-digits. The Union Lady Bulldogs used 62-percent shooting in the second half to cruise to a victory. Union’s largest lead of the game at 33 points came 104-71 with 2:30 left to play. Union walked away with the 106-78 final.
For the first time this season, freshman forward Zeinab Chan led Union in scoring. Her 21 points, including 13 in the first half led all scorers. Merideth Jacobs added 20 points, including six three pointers. Jessica Graves added 17 points, including 4-of-4 from behind the arc. Josphine Owino posted 14 points while Lindsey Flynn added 10 points. Union received 48 points on this night from their bench players. Union shot 60-percent from the field, including 56-percent (15-27) from behind the arc. The Lady Bulldogs also sank 15-of-20 free throws for 75-percent.
Cumberland was led by Alison West with 18 points. Renae Williams added 16 points, Chaquaila Gaten scored 15 points, and Ashley Matthews posted 10 points. Cumberland shot 38-percent from the field, 42-percent (10-24) from three-point range, and 77-percent (10-13) from the free-throw line.
Up next for Union will be a semifinal game versus Trevecca Nazarene on Friday, March 7 at Union. The game will start at 7:00 pm.
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