Union, Tenn., wins fifth women's NAIA title
Zeinab Chan scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Union, Tenn., won its fifth NAIA women's national championship with a 73-65 victory against Azusa-Pacific on Tuesday night.
Chan, the tournament's most valuable player, hit back-to-back field goals as the Lady Bulldogs matched their largest lead of the game and made it (54-49) with 9:17 to play.
``I had to think about not letting my teammates down and go to the basket,'' Chan said. ``We were not doing a good job early defensively and our coach said defense wins games.''
Union, which has won the title four of the last six years, increased the margin to 60-49 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Kayla Hudson with 7:40 remaining.
``(Azusa) started to collapse (on Chan) and I was open and it was time to step up,'' Hudson said. ``We work on it in practice and we take what the defense gives us.''
Azusa Pacific, playing its first national championship game, pulled to within 68-63 with 47 seconds to play on a field goal by Alex Moore-Porter, who finished with 13 points.
But a field goal by Union's Lavanda Ross, two free throws by Hudson and another by Kaitlin Dudley sealed it for the Lady Bulldogs.
``We finished really strong,'' Union coach Mark Campbell said. ``We rushed shots early and we needed more attack from the foul line.''
Kristie Hala'ufia led Azusa with 20 points.