JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/7/2011 - The No. 1 Union (Tenn.) University women’s basketball team posted a 73-49 win over No. 6 Bethel (Tenn.) University to claim the 2011 TranSouth Tournament Championship. Union improved to 31-1 on the season, while Bethel dropped to 26-6.
The tournament title for Union was the 11th in the 15-year history of the TranSouth and 21st conference tournament title in school history. Union is now 11-3 in TranSouth title games after having advanced to 14 in the 15 seasons of TranSouth basketball.
The game started with Union jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead following a field goal and a three-pointer, both from Lavanda Ross. Ross was named the conference tournament MVP and joined Kayla Hudson on the all-tournament team. Ross scored 14 of her game-high 25 points in the first half to spark Union.
Bethel rallied back with seven straight points, including a three-pointer from Kelsey Hamilton. The game remained tight for the first half with Bethel clinging to a small lead. The Lady Wildcats led by as many as four points, 19-15 with 6:03 left in the half.
Union then got a three pointer from Kayla Hudson that sparked 13-6 run for Union to close out the half. Union led 28-25.
In the second half, Union came out of the locker room with a 16-2 run to go up by 17 points, 44-27. Bethel got as close as 12 midway through the second half, but Union’s outside shot put the game out of reach.
The Lady Bulldogs sank 6-of-11 three pointers in the second half and shot 56 percent from the field to extend their lead to as many as 28 points, 70-42. Union cruised over the final four minutes to get the 73-49 win.
Union was led by Ross’ 25 points, including 3-of-4 from long range. Hudson added 17 points, including 4-of-5 from three point range. Sarah Chan added 15 points and Hope Adams pulled down 10 rebounds. Union shot 49 percent from the field, 50 percent (9-18) from long range and 80 percent (16-20) from the free throw line.
Bethel was led by Jana Roney with 10 points and Teena Carter with nine points. The Lady Wildcats shot 36 percent from the field, 27 percent (4-15) from behind the arc and 78 percent (7-9) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a No. 1 seed in the NAIA National Tournament at Oman Arena on March 16-22. This will be Union’s 22nd overall appearance and 20th straight, both NAIA record.
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