The NAIA women’s championships are taking place in Jackson TN with four Missouri schools in action. In the two late games on Wednesday, Avila was eliminated while Williams Woods out of Fulton is the first team to readchh 30 wins in the tournament after they advance with a 77-69 over Biola, CA. Columbia College plays at 9 a.m. Thursday morning and Evangel tips at 10:45. The recaps from both games last night are right here courtesy of

Defending national champion Union (Tenn.) rolled into the second round of the 2011 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship with a 62-37 win over Avila (Mo.) Wednesday in Oman Arena. The Lady Bulldogs have now won 11-consecutive games in the event and will look for their 12th against Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in the second round on Friday at 6:15 p.m. CDT.

Avila’s season comes to a close in its first-ever trip to the National Championship with a final record of 20-13.

Union held a 32-17 advantage at halftime thanks to double-figure scoring efforts from Zeinab Chan and Kayla Hudson with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The Eagles, who held a slight edge in field goal percentage at the break, had nine first-half points from Brittany Townsend.

The Lady Bulldogs turned their offense up in the second half, connecting on 10 their 23 attempts from the field and hit 4-of-7 3-point tries. Union held its largest lead of the game, 59-31, with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

Chan went on to finish with 14 points in the contest and was joined in double figures by Kayla Hudson with 12 points and 10 from Hope Adams. Adams was also the game’s leading rebounder with seven and Hudson handed out five assists.

Townsend had a game-high 17 points for Avila, highlighted by four drained 3s. Other Eagle contributions were limited to just six points each from Alyson Young and Torie Murillo.

William Woods (Mo.) shot its way past Biola (Calif.), 77-69, in the final game of Wednesday’s first-round action at the 2011 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship in Oman Arena. The win was the first in National Championship play in four trips for the Owls. They will put their 30-4 record on the line against Westminster (Utah) Friday at 4:30 p.m. CDT in the second round.

Biola is forced out in the first round of the National Championship for the fifth time in six total trips. The Eagles’ season comes to a close with a 25-7 mark.

Despite the Eagles’ holding a one-point lead at the half, 36-35, it was William Woods who held the hot shooting hand, knocking down 42 percent of its shots and converting 7-of-8 free throw attempts. Both teams had a player log 14 points in the opening stanza. Rachel Baker led the way for the Owls and Christina Barclay led for Biola.

Facing a deficit of as many as seven points in the first half, William Woods battled back and took the lead for good with Jill Sutton’s bucket with 6:03 remaining. The Owls led by a dozen with 1:46 on the clock, 70-58. Biola cut it to a two-possession game, but William Woods suck four free throws to close the door on the Eagles for the victory.

Baker gave a double-double performance with 26 points and 13 rebounds. The senior forward was 8-of-18 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from 3-point land. She also handed out a game-high six assists. Jill Sutton scored 18 points and Jestine Gerber posted 15 for William Woods. The Owls knocked down 21 of their 49 shots (.429) and were 9-of-18 from behind the arc.

Biola got a double-double from Jessilyn Conicelli in her final outing as an Eagle, registering 24 points and pulling down 14 boards, eight of which were on the offensive glass. Barclay was held to four second-half points to finish the game with 18. The Eagle offense was limited to 35 percent from the field and just 21 percent from 3-point range.