JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/6/2009 - The No. 1 ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs exploded for 64 second-half points to knock off No. 21 Bethel (Tenn.) College 95-65 in the semifinal game of the TranSouth Conference Tournament. With the win, Union moved to 31-1 on the season and will advance to their 12th TranSouth Tournament title game in the 13-year history of the league. Union has won nine TranSouth Tournament titles in the last 13 years. Bethel dropped to 19-12 overall, but still expects an at-large bid to the national tournament.
Union opened the first half with a bucket by Josephine Owino, but Bethel quickly drained a basket of their own. The first half proved to be a very physical one, with both teams swapping baskets, but neither team able to gain any offensive momentum. The first half featured eight ties and nine lead changes. In Union's lowest-scoring first half of the season, the Lady Bulldogs entered the break tied with the Lady Wildcats at 31-31.
The second half was a completely different story, as Union opened the half with a 20-4 run, to take a 16-point advantage, 51-35, with just over 14 minutes left in the contest. The Lady Wildcats pulled back within 14 points on two occasions over the next minute, but Union proved to be too much in the second half. The Lady Bulldogs continued to build their lead, going up by as many as 31 points, 95-64, with seven seconds left, before Bethel knocked down a free throw to lock up the final score 95-65.
Union was led on the night by Josephine Owino, who posted a double-double in the first half, with 16 points and 13 rebounds, before finishing the game with 20 points and 16 boards. Merideth Jacobs added 18 points for the Lady Bulldogs. Ashley Lillard also recorded a double-double in the win with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Kayla Hudson recorded 14 points for Union. Lavanda Ross and Kaitlin Dudley contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Bethel was led by Nina Djokovic who recorded a double-double for the Lady Wildcats with 25 points and 11 boards.
With Union's win, they have secured a spot in the TranSouth Conference Tournament final game on Monday, March 9. The Lady Bulldogs will tip off against Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University at 7:00 pm in Fred DeLay Gymnasium.
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