JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/24/2007 - The No. 19 ranked Union University Bulldogs won their second game in eight days over the No. 23 ranked McKendree University Bearcats Saturday night in the final game of the Union Thanksgiving Classic. The win puts the Bulldogs at 4-2 on the season, while McKendree falls to 5-4.
Union’s only advantage of the first half came early on a three-pointer by Tacuma Alexander to give the Bulldogs a one point lead. Union tailed for the rest of the half, down by as many as 11 points with 9:08 left until halftime. The Bulldogs pulled within one point on a three-pointer by Tony Brown with 17 seconds in the half.
After trailing at the half for the first time this season, Union rallied to lead by as many as 16 points with 4:11 left on the clock. The Bulldogs’ second-half run was lead by junior guard Matt Neaville, who scored 16 of his 24 points during the second half. Neaville, last week’s TranSouth Conference Player of the Week, drained three three-pointers in just over a minute to help spark Union’s rally. With 4:11 left in the game, back-to-back three-pointers by Neaville and Tony Brown pushed Union’s lead to 16 points (83-67). Union held on down the stretch to post an 87-78 win.
Union was led in scoring by Neaville with 24 points, including 6-of-14 from three-point range. Ryan Merriman posted his second double-double of the season, putting up 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Brian Lake recorded his third double-double this season with 17 points and 17 rebounds, and Tony Brown added 17 points for the Bulldogs.
McKendree’s Eric Hobbie posted 24 points to lead the Bearcats in scoring for the night. Eric Palm put up 19, while Brad Copelin and Ken Detmer each added 14 points for McKendree.
The Bulldogs will play at home again Saturday, December 1 against No. 5 Mountain State University (W. Va.) at 4:00 pm.
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