Winona Lake, Ind. (UUAthletics.com) – The Union University Lady Bulldogs won the NCCAA National Championship
with a 73-64 victory over the Lee University Lady Flames Saturday
afternoon. The fourth meeting of the year between the two rivals was
still undecided with 1:34 to play and Union clinging to a 63-60 edge.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the game in fine fashion with a 10-4 run to
bring home the championship. Union ends the season 25-6, their 31st
consecutive season with 20 or more wins. Lee completes their season
Union senior guard LaTesa McLaughlin was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. McLaughlin joined Amy Philamlee as all-tournament players. Mark Campbell was named the NCCAA National Coach of the Year.
The first half action was close with four ties and neither team holding more than a four point lead in the first 16 minutes. McLaughlin broke a 28-28 score with a pair of free throws to put Union ahead 30-28 with 3:59 left in the half. Philamlee passed the basketball to an awaiting Chelsea Bodiford, who gave the Lady Bulldogs their largest advantage of the half 37-31 with a 3-point bucket at the 1:28 mark. Union went to halftime up 38-33.
McLaughlin began the second half with a steal and layup for a 40-33 lead. Philamlee increased the score with free throws at 11:51 for a game high 11-point margin 52-41. A 12-6 Lee run reduced the Union advantage to 58-53 with 5:49 to play. Another Philamlee to Bodiford connection for a 3-point basket this time at 5:33 put Union in front 61-53. A jump shot by Myriah Iles with 1:34 remaining resulted in a 63-60 score. The Lady Bulldogs ended the final game of the season on a 10-4 spree in the last 1:08 for a 73-64 win. The final 10 points came off 3-point shots by McLaughlin and Philamlee with the latter sealing the victory from the free throw line hitting all four attempts in the final 20 seconds.
Philamlee recorded a game high 24 points, highlighted by a 10-for-10 effort from the free-throw line. McLaughlin scored 15 points and Astrid Huttemann 12. The Lady Bulldogs made 24-of-46 (52.2 percent) shots from the field. Union connected on 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) 3-point attempts.
Hollie German led the Lady Flames with 20 points and had a game high six assists. Jenna Adams put in 19 points and grabbed a game high eight rebounds. Rachel Lockhart scored 10 points.