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Union’s Lady Bulldogs win 4th national title

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–Union University’s Lady Bulldogs won their fourth NAIA Division I basketball title March 24, defeating Lambuth University 73-63.

The championship also was Union’s third in the past five years under coach Mark Campbell. The team has competed in the NAIA final four each year.

Josephine Owino, who was named the tournament MVP and NAIA Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, led the Lady Bulldogs with 27 points.

“We came strong and played our hearts out,” Owino told the Jackson Sun newspaper after the win.

Union (37-1) led by 10 at halftime, but Lambuth (29-6), which won the NAIA title in 2007, cut the lead in half in the early second half until an Owino basket stretched the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 39-32. In another run, Lambuth cut the lead to six at 43-37, but two consecutive scores by Owino put Union back up by 10. Lambuth never got closer than eight the rest of the night.

Dudley added 18 points for Union. Owino also had a game-high nine rebounds while blocking five shots.

In earning Player of the Year honors, Owina, a 6-foot-3 center from Mombassa, Kenya, averaged 19.3 points per game and an NAIA-best 66 percent from the field. She also averaged eight rebounds and more than two blocks and one steal per game.

Kaitlin Dudley, Union’s 5-10 junior guard, was named a first-team NAIA All-American, averaging 16.7 points and five rebounds per game.

Both Union and Lambuth universities are located in Jackson, Tenn., where the NAIA Division I championship has been played at 5,600-seat municipal Oman Area since 1990.

The NAIA encompasses 300 member institutions which play in 25 conferences across the United States and Canada.
Adapted from reporting by Tim Ellsworth, director of news and information at Union University.

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