JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/9/2009 - The No. 1 ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs earned their third straight TranSouth Tournament Championship and 10th title in the 13-year history of the league with a 92-69 win over No. 9 Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University.
Union, the top seeded team in the tournament, moved to 32-1 on the season while third-seeded Trevecca Nazarene dropped to 25-7 on the season. Both teams will be playing in the NAIA National Tournament on March 18-24 in Jackson, Tenn. at Oman Arena.
With the win, Union leads the season series with Trevecca Nazarene 3-0, winning 80-69 at Trevecca Nazarene, and then 88-70 at Union late in the regular season.
Union opened the game with a quick eight-point lead, posting a 15-7 run to start the game. Union never trailed in the game and was tied only once at 2-2. Union maintained a lead in the upper single digits for the next several minutes, before the Trojans of Trevecca Nazarene cut the Union lead to 30-28 with 6:10 left in the half. Union quickly responded as they went on a 15-2 run to go up by 11 points, 45-34 at the 1:52 mark. The Lady Bulldogs held a 47-37 halftime lead.
In the second half, Trevecca Nazarene scored two quick baskets to cut Union's lead down to six points. But again, it was Union stepping on the gas with a 12-0 run to push the lead back to double-digits at 18 points, 59-41. The Trojans never got closer than 16 points for the remainder of the game, while Union stretched their lead to as many as 26 points, 92-66. Union settled for the 92-69 final.
Union's two seniors highlighted the TranSouth All-Tournament team with Josephine Owino and Merideth Jacobs earning selections. Owino was named Tournament MVP.
Trevecca Nazarene Jennifer Bognar and K.C. Van Atta, along with Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University's Whitney Johnson and Bethel (Tenn.) College's Nina Djokovic also made the All-Tournament team.
Union was led by Josephine Owino with 24 points and 15 rebounds. It was her third double-double in the three tournament games. Kaitlin Dudley added 23 points including 5-of-7 three pointers. Lavanda Ross scored 14 points while Merideth Jacobs scored 12 points. Union shot 53-percent from the field, 35-percent (7-20) from three-point range, and 81-percent (21-26) from the free throw line. Union out rebounded the Trojans 37-20 and committed just 11 turnovers.
Trevecca Nazarene was led by K.C. Van Atta with 16 points and Abby Lawson with 13 points. The Trojans shot 42-percent from the field, including 35-percent (8-23) from behind the arc, and 75-percent (9-12) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be the first round of the NAIA National Tournament on Wednesday, March 18 at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn. The tournament brackets will be released from the NAIA on Thursday, March 12.
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