JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/18/2009 - Josephine Owino scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field to lead No. 1-seeded Union (Tenn.) University to its 18th straight first-round win, an 86-58 victory over No. 8-seeded Jarvis Christian (Texas) Wednesday evening at the 29th Annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.
Union, which has only lost once in the first round in its NAIA-record 20 tournament appearances, got 16 points from Owino in the first half as the Lady Bulldogs built up a 48-29 halftime advantage. Union shot 66 percent (21-for-32) from the field in the opening half, with Owino sinking seven-of-nine field goal attempts before halftime. She scored back-to-back baskets in the midst of a 12-0 first-half run that gave the Lady Bulldogs their first 20-point lead at 31-11 with 7:23 to play in the period.
Union scored 10 of the first 11 points of the second half, taking a 58-30 lead three minutes into the period. Owino, who was six-for-six from the free-throw line, buried a pair at the charity stripe with 6:52 to play to give the Lady Bulldogs their largest lead of the game. Jarvis Christian’s Rameitha Buford, who banked in a desperation three-pointer from 35 feet to end the first half, banked a two-point basket just inside the three-point line as time expired to trim the final margin to 86-58.
Owino was one of four Union players to reach double figures, with Kaitlin Dudley hitting for 16 points, Kayla Hudson adding 13 points and Christina Ray notching 10 points for the Lady Bulldogs. Dudley notched eight rebounds to lead Union’s 51-38 rebounding edge, and Owino registered three of the Lady Bulldogs’ six blocked shots.
Jarvis Christian was led by Ashley Brooks’ 18-point effort, while Niocha Hishaw posted a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Buford tallied 12 points for Jarvis Christian, hitting two-of-four from three-point range including the halftime buzzer-beater.
Union (33-1) will play the winner of Wednesday night’s first-round game between fourth-seeded Westmont and fifth-seeded Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), in a second-round contest on Friday at 6:15 p.m. Jarvis Christian finishes the season with a 19-11 overall record.
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