JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/15/2008 - The No. 12 Union (Tenn.) University Bulldogs won in overtime over No. 9 McKendree 83-80 in the McKendree (Ill.) University Classic. The Bulldogs remain perfect, now 4-0 on the year. The Bearcats of McKendree fall to 5-2 for the season.
The 4-0 start for Union matches their best start since the 2005-06 season when the Bulldogs also began the year 4-0.
In a game that featured two of the best three-point shooters in the NAIA in Union's Matt Neaville and McKendree's Eric Palm, the Bulldogs and the Bearcats played a tough contest from start to finish. In the first half, Union led by as many as 11 points on two occasions. McKendree's biggest lead of the first half was one point. For the first time this season, Union trailed at the half by one, 39-38.
In the second half, the game continued much as it had progressed in the first half with the lead changing hands numerous times. The Bearcats led by as many as six point in the second half. Keith Tolliver sparked the comeback for Union to send the game into overtime. Tolliver's game-high five steals, including two steals on back-to-back possesions and two offensive boards in a one possession, led Union's push to tie the game at 68-68 to send the contest into overtime.
Union jumped out to a quick lead in overtime and never looked back. Neaville made his fifth three pointer of the night to open the period. By playing tough defense and making 4-6 free throws in overtime, the Bulldogs were able to pull away with an overtime victory, 83-80.
Union's Neaville was named Most Valuable Player of the McKendree Classic, as well as being named to the All-Tournament team. Bulldogs Brian Lake and Greg Truvillion were also named to the All-Tournament team.
The Bulldogs were led by Neaville's 24 points, including 6-of-12 three pointers, for 50-percent shooting from behind the arc. Truvillion added 16 points for Union, while Lake posted a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Roland Banhoro led in rebounding for the Bulldogs, grabbing 11 total boards in the game.
McKendree was led in scoring by Eric Palm with 22 points on 4-of-10 three-point shooting. Eric Hobbie had 21 points for the Bearcats. Ken Detmer recorded a double-double for McKendree with 15 points and 10 boards, while Sean Rakers added 13 points.
Next up for Union will be a road trip to Marietta, Ga., to play Life (Ga.) University. That game will tip off at 6:30 (CT) pm on Thursday, November 20.
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