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OCU Dominates Union To Win NAIA Championship

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The Stars were crowned this year’s NAIA Champions after cruising to a 69-48 win over the Union Lady Bulldogs. The Stars were crowned this year’s NAIA Champions after cruising to a 69-48 win over the Union Lady Bulldogs.
FRANKFORT, Kentucky -

The Oklahoma City University women's basketball team claimed this year's NAIA Division I National Championship after a convincing 69-48 win over Union Tuesday night in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The victory for the top-ranked Stars is the sixth title for the program that finishes the season with a 35-1 mark.

OCU was paced by Taylor Booze's 20 points as she was named the Tournament MVP while Stars head coach Rob Edmisson was named the Phyllis Holmes NAIA Coach of the Year.

Out of the gates, OCU got out to a quick 9-0 advantage thanks to two 3-pointers from Booze and a trey by Caldwell with 16:21 left in the first. Union went scoreless for the first 4:54 of the game, turning the ball over four times and missing its first five shots from the field.

Union (Tennessee) closed the gap to 28-24 with just under three minutes before the break, the Stars went on a 6-0 run to close out the first and lead 34-24 at halftime.

In the second, the Lady Bulldogs struggled offensively as they didn't score for the first four minutes. OCU took advantage of Union's sparse scoring to lead 51-35 with 10 minutes to play.

Despite their best efforts the No. 2 ranked Lady Bulldogs never found enough of a spark to combat OCU's scoring.

The Stars managed 53.8 percent shooting from the field and 57.1 percent from behind the arc. In addition to Booze's 20 points Lauren Gober a junior from Newcastle, Okla., added 17 points, three assists and three blocks on the night for OCU.

"It's a big accomplishment to weed your way through this field of 32 teams," Edmisson said. "I've been very impressed with our kids' ability to stay focused.

Union was paced by Lavanda Ross who netted 15 points on the evening but as a team the Lady Bulldogs only shot 33.9 percent from the field and were 4-of-19 from three point range for only 21 percent on the night. Union closes out the season at 35-3 on the year.

For OCU, Dietra Caldwell, a senior from Missouri City, Texas, contributed nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists while Tulsa native and former Bishop Kelley High School standout Nicollette Smith added nine points.

The title is the first for OCU since 2002 and their sixth national title.

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