JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/20/2008 - The No. 1 ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs jumped up early as they rolled to a 103-54 win over No. 24 Loyola University-New Orleans on opening night of the 2008 Rotary Classic. This year's classic features six ranked teams for the third straight season.
This game for Union also started a stretch of five straight games versus team ranked in the NAIA Top-25, including a No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle at Vanguard (Calif.) University on Nov. 29.
Union scored the first six points on three straight baskets from last season's NAIA Player of the Year, Josephine Owino. Loyola scored six of the next 10 points to cut the Union lead to 10-6, but that would be as close as the Wolfpack could get. Union used an 18-4 run to stretch their lead to 28-10. Both teams struggled over the next few minutes, before Union pulled out to a 27-point (44-17) halftime lead.
In the second half, Union found their shooting touch as they shot 72-percent from the field and 46-percent (5-11) from behind the arc in the second half. Union scored 59 second half points to win 103-54. Union's biggest lead came at the 4:13 mark in the second half on a basket from Ashley Lillard to put Union up 51 points, 95-44.
Union was led by Owino with 23 points. Merideth Jacobs scored 18 points, including four three pointers. Lilliard recorded her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Lavanda Ross scored 12 points, Kayla Hudson added 12 points, Kaitlin Dudley scored 11 points and Zeinab Chan added 10 points.
Loyola was led by Trenese Smith with 19 and Trenelle Smith with 16 points. Christine Mainguy added 11 rebounds.
Up next for Union will host No. 13 Saint Xavier (Ill.) University at 7:00 pm on Friday, Nov. 21 in the Rotary Classic.
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