Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Union tops Lambuth for NAIA title
JACKSON, Tenn. -- Josephine Owino had 27 points and nine rebounds and was named tournament MVP, leading Union to its fourth NAIA women's basketball national championship with a 73-63 victory over crosstown rival Lambuth on Tuesday night.
Owino, who was named the 2009 national player of the year before the game, played in the semifinals and final with an ankle injury.
"I tried to forget the pain, but it was really hard," said Owino, wearing a walking cast on her right foot following the game. "I just had to play as hard as I could."
Kaitlin Dudley added 18 points, including four 3-pointers for Union, which never trailed in winning its third title in five years.
C.T. Kintchen led Lambuth with 30 points, and was the only Lady Eagles' player in double-figures.
Lambuth (29-6) made it a five-point game early in the second half, but Union then pulled away with a 15-7 run. From that point on, Lambuth got no closer than nine points.
Union (37-1) lost its only game this season to Lee University (Tenn.) in December. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs finished the regular season unbeaten and their only loss came in the national semifinals.
"Every year, the further I get along, it's more and more about the kids," Union coach Mark Campbell said. "We had a lot of talent this year and I felt like it was [my] responsibility to get them to this point. It's nice to be able to enjoy them. They've been enjoyable all year long."