Friday, February 26, 2016

Union College Advances to Semifinals of AAC Tournament

(9) Union College 87
Montreat College 68

Final from Kingsport, Tennessee

Game recap by UC:

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The No. 9-ranked Union College men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament with an 87-68 victory over Montreat College on Thursday.

The tournament is being played at the Meadow View Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center.

With the win, the Bulldogs are now 26-6 overall and Montreat ends its 2015-16 season with an overall record of 5-21.

Union had four players finish in double-digits to carry the team past the Cavaliers. Nick Riley (SR/Hopkinsville, Ky.) guided the way with a 20-point performance shooting 9-of-21 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, while Sam Natt (JR/Los Angeles, Calif.) recorded a season-high 19 points having the hot shooting hand on the night. Lonnie Smith (SR/Birmingham, Ala.) chipped in 12 points and Gerrard Newby (JR/Lexington, Ky. ) added 10 points with a team-high three steals. Levon Harper (JR/Danville, Va.) led Union on the boards with nine rebounds and three blocks.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-9 lead after Newby forced a Montreat turnover and converted it into two points. Then Lonnie Smith basket capped off a 10-2 surge and extend Union's lead to 15 points making it a 24-9 game with 9:54 left to play.

However, the Cavaliers didn't go down without a fight and cut the Bulldogs margin to single digits after a 3-pointer from Myles Marshall putting the score 38-31 at the 2:12 mark. Then Montreat's Amir Davis drilled a shot from the 3-pointer range with the clocking winding down before half time. But, Union was able to hold onto the 44-37 lead at the break.

After hot shooting from beyond the arc the Cavaliers came out in the second half and got within four points of the Bulldogs at 53-49. Union kept their composure and after a 3-pointer from Shawn Brown the Bulldogs began to pull away from Montreat making the score 76-59.

From there, the Bulldogs coasted and in the process won their 26th game in dominating fashion. The 87-68 victory over Montreat College in the quarter finals of the AAC tournament will get the Bulldogs one game closer to being able to bring home the 2016 AAC tournament title.

Union will now face the No. 3 seeded Reinhardt University who defeated Bryan College on Friday at 4 p.m.

The Cavaliers were led by Davis and Alonzo Moberly who each posted 16 points, while Davis went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line.

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