No. 9 Union Opens Season with 83-81 AAC Victory

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – A trio of Bulldogs nearly recorded a double-double apiece as ninth-ranked Union College held off visiting Allen University (S.C.) 83-81 on Monday.

DeMarkus Loman set the tone with 19 points and eight points, while Derek Morgan followed with 18 points and nine rebounds. Lance Blakley had a solid game with 11 points and nine boards.

This was the Bulldogs’ season opener and Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) opener, making them 1-0 overall and 1-0 in league play. The Yellow Jackets falls to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the AAC.

TURNING POINT

A 10-1 run late in the first half propelled Allen to a 34-25 lead, as it took a 42-35 lead into the break.

Union responded by opening the second half on fire, outscoring Allen 29-10 in claiming a 64-52 lead with 13:06 remaining. Yet, the Yellow Jackets would not go away.

Allen clawed its way back, tying it up at 73-all following a Leroy Williams bucket with 4:13 to play. The Yellow Jackets tied the game three more times but were unable to retake the lead.

Tied at 79-all, Loman stole the ball and slammed home the bucket to put Union up two with 23 seconds remaining. Demetrius Richardson drove the paint and scored to make it 81-all with less than 19 seconds left on the clock.

Following a timeout, Isiah Knight drove the lane and hit a short jumper to put the Bulldogs up 83-81 with 4.9 seconds to go. Allen was able to get a 30-foot shot off and got the rebound, but the shots would not fall as Union secured the 83-81 win.

STAT OF THE GAME

After a struggling to find its groove offensively in the first half, Union shot 52.6 percent (20-of-38) from the field and drained 4-of-10 3-pointers (40 percent) in the second half. The Bulldogs ended the game hitting 47.8 percent (33-of-69) of its shots and went 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) from 3-point range.

QUOTABLE

“When we win a game, by golly, we enjoy it,” said head coach Kevin Burton. “In the locker room as we were enjoying it, Lance (Blakley) was saying, ‘we figured it out. Way to figure it out.’ And that’s what that was. We figured it out.

“The start of the second half was very, very key. Usually, I’m concerned about the defense, but tonight it was the offense. I thought our offense told the story of how good or bad we were playing tonight,” he added.

BULLDOG NOTES

Jakobe Wharton came off the bench and chipped in 12 points, going 3-for-7 from behind the arc.
Allen won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Union 45-42. The Yellow Jackets pulled down 19 offensive boards to Union’s 17.
Kennith Rolle paced Allen with 17 points, while Williams registered a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Union blocked four shots on the night with Morgan recording three.
NEXT FOR THE BULLDOGS

Union remains home for another AAC contest on Wednesday, as Truett McConnell University (Ga.) comes for a visit. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.



 
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