Late surge sends No. 17 Union past Milligan
BARBOURVILLE — It was another night with plenty of peaks and valleys, but as has been the case lately, No. 17 Union College came out on top, winning 85-75 over visiting Milligan College (Tenn.) in Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) play on Tuesday.
The win is the sixth in the row for the Bulldogs, who improve to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in the AAC. The Buffaloes fall to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the AAC.
The pendulum swung in favor of both teams as each held double-digit leads in the first half. Hitting four of its first six 3-point attempts, Milligan jumped out to a 21-9 lead with 12:38 to go in the half. However, Union got hot and took its first lead at 28-27 after back-to-back buckets from Richard Brown. The Bulldogs eventually stretched their lead to 46-35, but the Buffaloes scored the last three points of the period to make it 46-38 at the break.
In all, the lead changed hands nine times with the score being tied on five occasions.
Union led for much of the second half but could not shake Milligan. The Buffaloes took a 67-65 lead with 6:12 remaining and owned a 73-70 edge with 4:22 to go.
But then, the Bulldogs took over.
A Jakobe Wharton 3 leveled the score at 73-all and jumpstarted an 8-0 run. Austin Cummins followed with a 3-pointer of his own to give Union the lead for good, while Isiah Knight buried two free throws to make it 78-73 with 2:10 to play. Milligan cut the margin to 78-75, but Union finished the game by going 7-of-8 at the foul line to seal the 85-75 victory.
Union closed out the game on a 15-2 run.
BULLDOG OF THE GAME
Despite playing a little under 18 minutes due to foul trouble, Brown collected 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. He also produced four rebounds and a block.
Four Bulldogs scored in double figures. Joining Brown, Ronnie Carson led the way with 19 points with Knight and Wharton chipping in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Carson hit 10-of-11 free throws, while the Bulldogs hit 70 percent (21-of-30) from the stripe.
Nick Marshall was close to a double-double with eight points and eight rebounds.
After starting the game 4-fo-6 (66.7 percent) from 3-point range, Milligan ended the game 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) behind the arc.
Union hit 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field while going 8-for-17 (47.1 percent) from 3-point range.
NEXT FOR THE BULLDOGS
Union will step outside of conference play this weekend as it participates in the NAIA DII Classic “The Show” in Kingsport, Tenn. Union will face Lourdes University (Ohio) on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. before taking on Robert Morris University (Ill.) on Sunday at 12:45 p.m.