Union’s head women’s basketball coach Mark Campbell won his 400th game Tuesday night with a 79-62 victory against Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Campbell has started his 13th year at Union and is averaging 33.3 wins per season over his coaching career at Union.
“Winning 400 games means nothing to me,” Campbell said. “I have had a lot of great players and assistant coaches and winning happens when you have good people around.”
Kayla Hudson, former player and current assistant coach, said Campbell is a humble man and it has been a fun experience to transition from his player to helping him coach.
The women played against Hannibal-LaGrange for the first time in women’s basketball history. HLG is a member of the NAIA and plays in the American Midwest Conference.
During the game, Campbell watched every move his players made and talked to each one. With seven new players on the team there is plenty for Campbell to be critiqueing.
“From every circumstance we look at it as a chance to get better,” Campbell said. “Basketball is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Union was leading in the first half with 8 minutes left with the score of 20-12. By halftime Union had scored more 13 points, leaving the score at 33-16.
In the second half Hannibal-LaGrange started to close the gap on the 12-point lead Union had but at the 5:40 time mark, Union still held a 58-49 lead. Shortly after Hannibal-LaGrange scored, Union scored and Mrashi Karumba was fouled. Within seconds Hannibal-LaGrange made a 3-point-shot leaving the game 63-52 with 5:10 to go.
Between the 2:42 mark and the end of the game, Hannibal-LaGrange committed seven fouls, which gave an opportunity for the Lady Bulldogs to capitlize on free throw points. Union won by 17 points.
This year Union is ranked No. 2 in the NAIA preseason rankings.
When it comes to coaches and winning percentage Union holds the top two spots. Campbell ranks No.1 all time in the NAIA winning percentage of .851. The second spot goes to former Union head coach David Blackstock, averaging 28.3 wins per season.
“Coach (Campbell) winning his 400th game does not surprise me,” Hudson said. “He is the best coach I have ever known.”
The next chance to watch the Lady Bulldogs will be Saturday when they play during homecoming weekend. The women will play St. Frances from Illinois at 2 p.m.