JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/23/2007 - The fifth ranked Union University Lady Bulldogs saw their 14-game winning streak fall as No. 19 Lambuth University held on for an 87-85 victory. The loss also ended the Lady Bulldog’s 13-game win streak over the Lambuth Lady Eagles. Union dropped to 23-5 overall and 14-3 in the TranSouth. Lambuth’s eighth straight win improved the Lady Eagles to 21-7 on the season and 13-4 in the TranSouth.
Union is still in sole possession of first place in the TranSouth conference with a one game lead with one game to play. The Lady Bulldogs have clinched as least a regular season co-championship, which marks their 10th regular season crown in 12 seasons. With a win on Saturday, Union can seal the regular season crown outright and gain the No. 1 seed and home court advantage in next week’s TranSouth Conference Tournament.
Union jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first minutes of play in front of a packed house in Jackson. Then Lambuth started to pull away with the help of three straight three pointers and four in five possessions to take a 15 point lead, 36-21 at the 5:53 mark. Union was able to stopped the bleeding with a 13-5 run to close the half trailing just 41-34.
The second half saw both team come out shooting well as the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Eagles shot over 50-percent from the field and from behind the arc in the second half. Union was able to cut into Lambuth’s lead and with 1:11 left to play, Union’s Ena Daniels tied the game at 83-83 on a three pointer. As they did all night, Lambuth was able to answer any run from Union with a score and this would be no different. Union got the stop it needed, but an offensive board by Jodi Gunter kept the ball in Lambuth’s possession. Gunter was fouled and sank her two free throws with 46 seconds left. Union had the ball back trailing by two when DJ Sissoko, also following an offensive rebound, made her two free throws to tie the game at 85-85. Lambuth had the ball with 20 seconds left as Reggie Maddox held for the last shot. Her drifter in the lane was no good but a tip-in by Lambuth’s Meghan Fuqua put the Lady Eagles up 87-85. Union got a time out with just one second left. And as the game’s final buzzer sounded, Ena Daniel’s three-point heave from beyond half court hit the backboard, then the rim, before falling off no good.
Union was led by Natanya Smith with a game-high 25 points. Jessica Graves added 14 points, while Ena Daniels scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Crystal Eason added 11 points and DJ Sissoko scored 10 points.
Lambuth was led by Meghan Fugua with 22 points. Dee Preyer added 17 points and Kelly Forrest scored 13 points. Fugua, Forrest, and Preyer combined for 9-of-13 from behind the arc. The rest of the Lambuth team was 0-of-4.
Up next for Union will be the final regular season game of the year at Martin Methodist on Saturday, February 24. A win for Union will clinch the outright conference title and the No. 1 seed. A loss and wins by either Lambuth and/or Trevecca Nazarene will force co-champion finish with tiebreakers set to determine the conference tournament seeding. Trevecca Nazarene closes the season at Lyon, while Lambuth will host Freed-Hardeman.
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