LEBANON, Tenn. - 1/19/2012 - The Union University men’s basketball team earned another win over a ranked team with a 55-51 victory at No. 23 Cumberland University. Union, who is receiving votes in the latest NAIA poll, improved to 12-7 on the season and 5-1 in the TranSouth. Cumberland dropped to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in league play.
Union has now won eight of their last 10 games, including four in a row. Union has beaten their second straight ranked opponent on the road to push their recorded versus teams ranked in the most recent top-25 to 2-6.
Union jumped out to a fast start and after four minutes of play, held what would be their largest lead of the game of nine points, 12-3. Cumberland rallied and with a 15-5 run to take their first lead of the game at 18-17 with 10 minutes left in the half. Cumberland held a slim lead at the half, 31-29.
In the second half, Cumberland extended their lead to as many as six points, 35-29, with 17:21 left in the game. That was their largest lead of the game. Union began to rally and tied the game at 35-35 and then took the lead 37-35. Union led by as many as eight points twice in the second half, but Cumberland was able to tie the game at 49-49 with 1:36 left. Union got back-to-back baskets from David Lane and Dani Marti to go up by four points. Lane entered the game tied with Antoine Hall as the team’s leading scorer, however, that basket with 1:15 left was his only two points of the night. Cumberland cut the deficit to two points with 14 seconds left, but a pair of free throws from Hall with 12 seconds left sealed the win.
Union made all four of their three pointers in the first half (4-11), while missing all five attempts in the second half. However, Union did make 4-of-5 free throws in the second half after going 3-of-9 in the first half. Cumberland outrebounded Union 47-36, including 20-11 on the offensive glass.
Union was led by Hall with 14 points and Skyler Vaden with 11 points. Laventrice Gray added nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Union shot 40 percent from the field, 25 percent (4-16) from long range, and 50 percent (7-14) form the free throw line.
Cumberland was led by Michael Sweat with 11 points and Andrew Ayodeji with seven points. Cumberland shot 33 percent from the field, 13 percent (3-of-23) from behind the arc, and 50 percent (4-of-8) from the charity stripe.
Up next for Union will be another road game Saturday at Blue Mountain (Miss.) at 4:00 p.m.
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