KANSAS CITY, MO.
– Union University (Tenn.) survived an upset bid from Westminster College
(Utah) to post a 62-52 victory Wednesday in the first round of the 2002
Buffalo Funds – NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship at
Union, the No. 2 seed, rallied from a 32-27 halftime deficit to run its record to 31-4 overall. The Bulldogs have advanced to Friday’s 4:30 p.m. second-round game, where they will face Barat College. Barat notched a 93-86 win earlier tonight against Columbia College (Mo.)
maintained its halftime advantage until the early stages of the second half,
when Union reeled off 16 unanswered points to grab a 50-37 lead with 8:05 to
play. Freshman guard Bruno Martinessi contributed eight points during the
decisive stretch. The Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure in the second
half, holding the Griffins to just 23.3 percent shooting the period.
done what he’s done all year. He’s capable of everything,” said Union
coach Ralph Turner of Martinessi. “There’s no coaching gem at halftime.
The players just stepped up. The strength of our team all year has been
balance. When one player can’t get it done, other players step up.”
led all scorers with 20 points. Junior forward Derrick Underwood posted 14
points and 10 rebounds, while senior forward Robert Joseph added 10 points, 15
rebounds and six blocked shots.
Junior forward Matt Sparrow was the only Westminster player to score in double figures with 13 points. Junior center Nick Taggart and senior guard Todd Christensen each added nine points. The Griffins end their season with an overall record of 18-12.