NASHVILLE, Tenn. - 2/5/2009 - The No. 6 ranked Union University Bulldogs escaped a close call on the road with an 81-78 victory at Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University. The Bulldogs remained atop the TranSouth Conference standings, along with Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), with a 9-1 league record.
Union (19-4) scored first on a basket from Matt Neaville. However, the home Trojans jumped out to a 14-9 lead. Union scored six points in a row to take a quick lead, but it was short lived. Trevecca Nazarene (10-12, 4-5) stormed back to their biggest lead of the first half, 24-18, with 9:08 left. Union slowly chipped away and with 15 seconds left in the half, Union held their largest lead of the half, 46-41. The Bulldogs settled for a 46-42 halftime lead.
In the second half, Union posted a 7-0 run, with five of those points coming from Neaville, to take their largest lead of the game at 11 points, 53-42. However, Trevecca Nazarene answered with a 20-2 run to regain the lead and push their advantage to seven points, 62-55 with 14:33 left. The seven point lead for the Trojans was their biggest of the game. During the 20-2 run, Trojan Guard Matthew Elliott scored 12 of this game-high 26 points to spark his team.
It was now Union’s turn in the game of spurts. The Bulldogs rattled off a 9-2 run, capped off with a Neaville three pointer to tie the game at 64-64. The game was back-and-forth for the next six minutes, before Union’s Brian Lake gave the Bulldogs the lead for good, 74-72. In the final minute, two free throws from Neaville gave Union an 81-76 lead with 14 seconds left. After a quick basket from Christopher Harris, the Trojans put Union’s Lake on the line for a one-and-one with seven seconds left. Lake missed his first attempt, but a last second three pointer from Elliott was no good. Union left Moore Gym with an 81-78 victory.
The game featured eight ties and eight lead changes.
Union was led by Greg Truvillion with 23 points and 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Matt Neaville added 22 points, including four three pointers. Brian Lake scored 16 points, while Antoine Joseph scored 10 points. Union shot 50-percent from the field, including 25-percent (6-24) from behind the arc, and 81-percent (9-11) from the free throw line. Union outrebounded Trevecca Nazarene 43-25, including 16-6 on the offensive glass. Union outscored the Trojans 52-28 in the paint.
Trevecca Nazarene was led by Matthew Elliott with 26 points, including a season-high four 3-pointers. Brian Oduor scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Michael France added 12 points. The Trojans shot 51-percent from the field, 44-percent (7-16) from behind the arc, and 64-percent (9-14) from the free throw line. Trevecca Nazarene forced 15 Union turnovers, compared to just 12 turnovers of their own.
Up next for Union will be the fifth and final game of the current 5-game road swing. Union travels to Cumberland (Tenn.) University on Thursday, Feb. 12 for an 8:00 pm game.
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