Oklahoma City takes NAIA women's title


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Taylor Booze scored 20 points to lead Oklahoma City to its sixth NAIA national championship with a 69-48 win over Union (Tenn.) University on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City (35-1) is the champion for the first time since winning the last of four straight in 2002.

"I'm just happy to see the journey our kids have gone on this season," Oklahoma City coach Rob Edmisson said. "We defended so well, especially on their All-American (Lavanda Ross). We held her to very few looks and really made it tough for her to be effective. Defense wins championships, we say that all the time and it proved itself tonight."

Booze, who was tournament MVP, hit a pair of 3-pointers to help the Stars jump out to a 9-0 lead. The Stars held Union scoreless for nearly the first five minutes of the game.

Ross led Union, which was making its fourth straight title game appearance, with 15 points.

Union (35-3) managed to cut the OCU lead to 28-24 on Ross' driving basket with 4:16 left in the half. The Bulldogs would get no closer.

Oklahoma City scored the next 11 points over the waning minutes of the first half and the start of the second half to take a 39-24 lead with 17:15 left in the game.

Dietra Caldwell opened the decisive run and Lauren Gober closed it with one of her four 3-pointers. Caldwell had nine points and 10 rebounds, and Gober chipped in 17 points.

Oklahoma City's Desiree Jeffries finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, while Nicollette Smith added nine points off the bench.

Union's LaTesa McLaughlin joined Ross in double figures with 10 points. Shelby Ashcraft added nine points and 11 rebounds.