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Union women capture NAIA national championship title

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–The Union University Lady Bulldogs won the 2005 NAIA National Basketball Championship with a 67-63 win over Oklahoma City University in the title game March 22 at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn.

For Union (35-5), this is the second NAIA women’s national title (1998, 2005) and the first for sixth year head coach Mark Campbell.

Union led 30-29 at halftime and then stretched that lead to 17 points (59-42) with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. Oklahoma City slowly crept back and pulled to within two points with 27 seconds left.

Union held that two-point lead as Ena Daniels, a 64 percent free-throw shooter for the year, stepped to the line and made both free throws with eight seconds remaining.

Union led by four, 67-63, and after a turnover by Oklahoma City on the inbounds play, the game was sealed for Union.

Union was led by freshman guard Merideth Richardson with 15 points. Senior forward Stephanie Clark tallied a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Jennifer Henson added 12 points, while Daniels scored 11 points.

Union had several players honored by the NAIA. Clark was named the NAIA co-player of the year, along with Lisa Faulkner of Vangurd. Clark was also named a repeat first team All-American.

Richardson was named an NAIA All-American honorable mention.

Clark was also named the NAIA National Tournament MVP and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

Daniels joined Clark for Union on the all-tournament team.

Union’s senior guard Monica Elliot earned the NAIA National Tournament Hustle Award.

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  • Steven Aldridge