JACKSON, Tenn. - 1/28/2008 - The Union University Bulldogs posted a 93-80 win over Crichton College (Tenn.) on Monday night to earn their fourth victory in the past five games. Union improved to 11-8 on the season and 5-4 in the TranSouth. Crichton dropped to 13-8 on the year and 7-4 in league play.
Crichton opened the game with a quick basket by Derek Boykin. Union answered with a Brian Lake jumper to knot the game at 2-2. The teams swapped baskets over the next five minutes before the Comets posted a 12-9 lead. This three-point advantage was the largest margin of the game for Crichton. Over the next four minutes, Union outscored Crichton 18-6 to take a 27-18 lead with 11:32 left in the half. Lake, Union's leading scorer over the past two weeks and TranSouth Player of the week during the same period, started the Union rally with a three pointer. Union's Matt Neaville did the rest, scoring 20 of his game-high 32 points in the first half, including 4-of-7 three pointers. Crichton managed to cut the Union lead down to just one point at 40-39 with 1:47 left in the half before the Bulldogs scored six of the half's final eight points to take a 46-41 advantage into the locker room.
The second half opened with Union posting a 13-0 run and scoring 17 of the first 19 points of the half to open a 20-point lead, 63-43, with 15:31 left in the game. Over the next four minutes Union pushed the lead up to their largest of the game at 21 points (69-48). Crichton rallied to cut the lead down to nine points, 77-68 with 5:33 left, but Union answered back. Bulldog sophomore, Tacuma Alexander broke the press for a lay up. Neaville's sixth three pointer of the night soon followed to push Union's lead back to 14 points with just 2:39 left to play. The Comets again reduced the lead to nine points (87-78) with just over a minute left to play. Union was able to get three easy baskets in the final minute off the Crichton press to set the final score at 93-80.
Union was led with Neaville's game-high 32 points, including 6-of-13 shooting form behind the arc, and five assists in the contest. Brian Lake posted his fifth straight 20-plus point game with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Over the past five games, Lake is averaging 24 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Ryan Merriman posted the team's second double-double of the night with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Union shot 41-percent from the field, 33-percent (11-33) from three-point range, and 77-percent (10-13) from the free throw line.
Crichton was led by Derek Boykin with 18 points. Dontaye Hinton and Sylvania Watkins each added 14 points. The Comets posted 52-percent shooting from the field, but just six-percent (1-16) from behind the arc. Crichton made 9-of-17 free throws for 53-percent. The Comets committed 19 turnovers, compared to Union's 14 in the game.
Up next for Union will be a home game on Thursday night, January 31 as the Bulldogs will host Mid-Continent University (Ky.). The men's game will start at 8:00 pm preceded by the women's game at 6:00 pm.
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