JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/16/2007 - by Joe Reinsch, NAIA Women's Media Coordinator
First-seeded Union posts 26-point win over fifth-seeded Oklahoma Christian
First-seeded and two-time defending NAIA champion Union University (Tenn.) advanced to the quarterfinals with an 87-61 victory over fifth-seeded Oklahoma Christian University in the second round of the 27th Annual NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Oman Arena.
Union, which advanced to its 14th quarterfinals in 18 appearances, had never before posted consecutive victories of 25 points or more to start the tournament.
Oklahoma Christian led on four separate occasions in the game's first ten minutes and drew even at 22-22 with less than five minutes to play in the opening half before Union reeled off 10 straight and carried a 36-26 lead into halftime. After Oklahoma Christian cut the lead to seven points at 41-34 on a Rachel Martin three-pointer with 18:40 to play in the game, Union put together a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 53-36 lead with less than 13 minutes remaining. Union led by at least 13 points the rest of the game.
Kaitlin Dudley led all scorers, coming off the bench for 22 points, and Natanya Smith added 20 points, seven rebounds and a game-high five steals for Union. Jessica Graves registered a 10-point, six-rebound, eight-assist performance.
Martin led Oklahoma Christian with 19 points and six rebounds, and Kailan DeCamp finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Union improves to 29-5 on the season and extends its national tournament winning streak to 12, advancing to a quarterfinal matchup with Houston Baptist, a five-time quarterfinalist, Saturday evening at 6 p.m. Oklahoma Christian wraps up the season at 23-8.
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