Friday, February 27, 2015

No. 17 Union College Dismantles Montreat in AAC Tournament Quarterfinals

(17) Union College 95
Montreat 61

Final from Kingsport, Tennessee

Game recap by UC:

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The No. 17 and top-seeded Union College men's basketball team began defense of their Appalachian Athletic Conference Tourmament Championship in style on Thursday, blowing out ninth-seeded Montreat (N.C.) in a 95-61 victory in quarterfinal action. The tournament is being played at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center.

With the victory, the Bulldogs collected their 18th win in a row, moving to 27-4 overall on the year. Montreat ended their season with the loss, falling to 8-17 overall.

In the opening eight minutes, things were tight between the Bulldogs and Cavaliers, with Union clinging to a 17-16 lead with 12:27 remaining in the period. Montreat continued to remain within striking distance despite the fact that Union maintained the lead at 25-21 with 9:22 to go.

Here, the Bulldogs began to pull away from the Cavaliers, racing on a quick 6-0 run to go up by 10 at 31-21. Once the floodgates opened on the offensive end for Union, Montreat could not catch up, as the run continued throughout the rest of the period, as the Bulldogs led it 42-29 with three minutes left.

Another run to end the half effectively put the Cavaliers away, as a 10-3 run to end the period put Union up 20 at 52-32 entering intermission. In the second half, the lead was too much for Montreat to come back from, as Union ballooned the lead out to 62-37 within four minutes of play in the second period.

From there, the Bulldogs coasted, and in the process won their 24th game of the season by double-digits, and 16th of which in the team's current NAIA Division II leading 18-game winning streak.

Leading the way all day for Union was guard JD Tucker (JR/Charleston, S.C.), who poured in a season-best 24 points on a torrid 10-of-13 shooting afternoon from the floor. Center Deante Johnson (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) was the only other Bulldog to score in double-figures in the win, chipping in with 15 points.

The Bulldogs will move on to play either Reinhardt (Ga.) or Bryan (Tenn.) in Friday's semifinals of the 2015 AAC Tournament. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. in Kingsport.

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