Jackson, Tenn. - 12/4/2002 - The Union University Bulldogs will play the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks on Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. Also this weekend in the Annual Rotary Classic, the Lady Bulldogs will face No. 18 Oklahoma Baptist on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. and then on Saturday will face No. 4 Central State at 6:00 p.m.
This will mark the first time in 11 years that Union has played a NCAA Div. I opponent (Southeast Missouri State University, 1990-91). Union and Martin are just 50 miles apart and have met 24 times in their histories with Martin winning 18 times. The most recent meeting was on Dec. 16, 1989 in Martin, Tenn. UT-Martin took that game 92-81. In that game, Union was led by James Fields of Friendship and Marshall Brown of Union City with 16 points each. Brown also led with nine rebounds.
Union head coach Ralph Turner says, “This is a great opportunity for our school and our guys to play a quality Div. I team such as UT-Martin.” Turner goes on to say, “Coach Brett Campbell is the best coach in the OVC and will have his kids very well prepared. We will have to play national championship caliber basketball to win.”
Currently, the Bulldogs are 6-3 on the season and ranked No. 24 in the latest NAIA polls. UT-Martin is 2-1 in the young season.
On the women’s slate, the Rotary Classic will feature four teams that had tremendous success in the 2002 NAIA National Tournament. Union and Central State each made the final four, while Lambuth and Oklahoma Baptist each advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Union’s head coach Mark Campbell believes the tournament has a two-fold purpose for his team. “First, the Rotary does a great job in raising money for Youth Town and it is good for the players to see the great example of servant leadership set by the Rotary members.” “Second”, Campbell says, “it’s a great opportunity to play outstanding teams as this early point in the season. We can lean were we are as a team and then over the Christmas break, step back and evaluate and work on getting better for the ‘Second Season’”.
On the season Union is 9-1, Central State is 9-0, Oklahoma Baptist is 5-1, and Lambuth is 5-9.
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