JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/21/2008 - The Union University Bulldogs snapped their longest losing streak in four seasons with a 92-82 win over Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.). Union improved to 14-12 on the season and 8-8 in the conference. Freed-Hardeman dropped to 17-9 overall and 9-8 in league play.
The game opened with the visiting Lions posting five straight points. Union stayed close and at the 13:51 mark, Brian Lake gave Union their first lead, 15-14. The lead was brief as the Lions jumped back up by five points. Union again rallied to take a brief one-point lead, but couldn’t hold it. Freed-Hardeman posted a 13-4 run to take their biggest lead of the game at eight points, 37-29, with 5:10 left in the half. Union managed to cut the Lion’s halftime lead down to five points at the half, 44-39.
In the second half, Freed-Hardeman came out with the momentum and looked to put the game away by taking a quick seven-point lead, 48-41, just one minute into the half. However, playing in front of an energized home crowd in the first game at “The Fred” since the tornado, Union started to come alive. With 16:21 left, the Bulldogs trailed 55-49. But over the next eight minutes, Union posted a 25-5 run, including a run of 16-0. During that stretch, Union made seven three pointers, including five from Matt Neaville. Union led 74-60 with 8:53 left. Freed-Hardeman mounted a rally, and closed the Union lead down to just six points, 85-79, with 2:24 left. But Union closed the game, scoring seven of the game’s final 10 points to win 92-82. Union outscored Freed-Hardeman 53-38 in the final 20 minutes.
Union was led by Matt Neaville with a game-high and Union career-high 37 points. His nine made three pointers was just one shy of tying the school record. Bolivar native Brian Lake posted his eleventh double-double of the season with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Keith Tolliver added 10 points, while Ryan Merriman grabbed 11 rebounds. Union shot 40-percent from the field, 39-percent (15-39) from behind the arc, and 77-percent (13-17) from the free throw line.
Freed-Hardeman was led by Kristoffer Smith with 25 points. Zack Frey scored 13 points, Cedric Austin added 11 points, and Tyler Jennings posted 10 points. The Lions shot 43-percent from the field, 38-percent (11-29) from three-point range, and 75-percent (0-12) from the charity stripe.
Up next for Union will be a conference game on the road on Saturday, February 23 when the Bulldogs travel to Memphis to play Crichton at 2:00 pm.
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