NASHVILLE, Tenn. - 3/7/2006 - The Union University men's basketball team earned their second straight TranSouth Conference Tournament Championship and fifth title in the past nine years with a 92-79 win at Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.). Union improved to 28-5 on the season and will earn the conference's automatic bid to next week's NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. Trevecca Nazarene dropped to 25-6 on the season, however, will receive an at-large bid to the nationals.
Union, ranked No. 5 in the final NAIA rankings, entered the game on a seven-game winning streak, but had lost the last four meetings versus Trevecca Nazarene. Union started the game off on the right foot as they scored the first six points. Trevecca Nazarene rallied to tie the game at 8-8 with 16:40 left in the first half on a three pointer by Jerod Perry. Over the next 16 minutes of the first half, both teams would battle back and fourth with each team swapping leads, with no team able to get a lead bigger that three points. Then, with 38 seconds left, Union' Ben Frederick gave Union a 41-36 lead for their biggest lead of the first half since they led 6-0. With that lead, the Bulldogs would not trail again. Trevecca Nazarene answered with a basket to make the halftime score 41-38 in favor of Union.
In the second half, Trevecca Nazarene immediately tied the game at 41-41. Union jumped back on top 46-41, but Trevecca Nazarene again tied the game at 46-46. Union and Trevecca Nazarene would be tied for the third and final time of the second half at 49-49. Union went on a short 6-0 run to take a 55-49 lead that they would not give up. Union's biggest lead of the game was 16 points at the 10:55 mark as Union led 70-54 and the 5:56 mark when Union led 81-65. Trevecca Nazarene proved they wouldn't go away easy as they pulled back to within seven points at 86-79 with 1:37 left on Perry's fifth three pointer of the night. Union however sealed the win by closing the game out on a 6-0 run including 4-of-4 from three free throw line in the final minute of play.
Union was led by Mack Bealim with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Ben Frederick also added a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Kinley Sellers added 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting from behind the arc. Deywane Lee added yet another workman like performance with 12 points and eight boards. Union shot 55 percent from the field and 39 percent (9-23) from behind the arc. Union also made 13-of-19 (68 percent) from the charity stripe.
Trevecca Nazarene was led by Jerod Perry with a game-high 28 points on 5-of-13 shooting from behind the arc. Alex Renfroe scored 16 ponits, Marcus Salvi added 13 points, Colins Onyando scored 12 points, while Josh Helton tallied 10 points. Trevecca Nazarene shot 49 percent from the field, including 30 percent (10-30) from behind the arc. The Trojans also shot 60 percent (3-5) from the free throw line.
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