JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/5/2009 - The No. 5 ranked Union University Bulldogs opened their play in the TranSouth Conference Tournament with a 102-77 win over Lyon (Ark.) College. TranSouth Player of the Year Matt Neaville sank 10 three-pointers in the game, missing his Union record of 11 three pointers set in a game last season.
Union improved to 26-5 on the season, while Lyon ended their year at 11-19.
Lyon jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in the contest thanks to back-to-back three pointers form Andy Lee and Preston Butts. However, Union posted a 14-2 run over the next three minutes as they began to pull away. Union pushed their first half lead up to as many as 20 points, 52-32, with 4:36 left in the half. Neaville entered halftime with eight made three pointers and his Bulldogs leading 60-42.
In the second half, Union stretched their lead to a game-high 28 points, 74-46 with 15:32 left to play. Lyon cut the lead down to 16 points, 82-66, but Union answered right back. The Bulldogs again led by 28 points in the game, 102-74, before settling for the 102-77 final.
Neaville posted a game-high 36 points. It was a season high for Neaville, but four points shy of his career-high of 40 points scored in a game last season. He finished the game, making 10-of-17 three pointers. Keith Tollivar added 20 points, while Brian Lake posted 12 points. Martez Hawkins recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
Union shot 51-percent from the field, 48-percent (19-40) from behind the arc, and 73-percent from the free throw line. The Bulldogs out rebounded Lyon 51 to 36 in the game.
Lyon was led by Andy Lee with 20 points. Preston Butts scored 15 points and Chad Glover added 14 points. The Scots shot 40-percent from the field, 35-percent (8-23) from behind the arc, and 58-percent (7-12) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a home game versus Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College on Saturday night in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Tip off is at 7:00 pm.
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