JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/11/2008 - The Union University Bulldogs lost their second straight game by three points after having a lead in the final minute of play. In Union's first game since the tornado hit Union's campus last Tuesday night, No. 24 Cumberland University (Tenn.) defeated Union University 64-61. Union dropped to 13-10 on the season and 7-6 in the TranSouth. Cumberland improved to 17-7 overall and 11-4 in the conference. This marked the first game in seven days for Union.
The first half was played close as neither team gained more than a six-point advantage. Cumberland led by as many as six points (14-8), while Union posted their biggest first half lead of five points, 23-18, at the 7:55 mark. Cumberland used a 12-4 run to close the half with a 30-27 lead.
Union trailed by five points early in the second half before posting a 12-2 run to jump up by five points, 43-38 at the 11:57 mark on a three pointer from senior Ryan Merriman. It was Cumberland's turn to rally as they took the lead back at 44-43. The teams went back and forth and with just 45 seconds left, Union's Tacuma Alexander made a basket to put Union up 61-60. Union forced a Cumberland miss on the other end, but missed the front end of a one-and-one with a chance to extend the lead. Cumberland's DeCory Young was fouled and sank both free throws to put his team up 62-61 with just 12 seconds left. A shot by Union's Tony Brown went long and Cumberland added two more free throws to seal the win, 64-61.
The game ended with nine ties and 16 lead changes, with neither team leading by more that six points at any time.
Union was led by Matt Neaville with 18 points, including 4-of-14 three pointers. Ryan Merriman and Tony Brown each added 12 points, while Roland Banhoro grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Union shot just 33-percent from the field, 19-percent (7-36) from behind the arc, and just 44-percent (4-9) from the free throw line.
Cumberland was led by Rontreal Braxton with 20 points. Thomas Douglas added 16 points and DeCorey Yound posted 14 points. Cumberland shot 47-percent from the field, 31-percent (4-13) from three point range, and 88-percent (14-16) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a game with crosstown rival Lambuth University (Tenn.) on Thursday night, February 14. The men will play at 8:00 pm, preceded by the women's game at 6:00 pm.
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