JACKSON, Tenn. - 12/1/2007 - In a battle of NAIA Top-20 ranked teams, the No. 19 Union University Bulldogs fell to No. 5 Mountain State University (W. Va.) 100-89. With the loss, the Bulldogs dropped to 4-3 on the season, while the Mountain State Cougars remained perfect at 7-0.
The game not only had two ranked teams, but featured the top two scorers in the NAIA, Union's Matt Neaville and Mountain State's James Spencer, respectively. Union scored first to start the game on a field goal by senior Ryan Merriman, but quickly fell behind on a three-pointer by the Cougars. The Bulldogs trailed for the rest of the half, down by as many as 13 points (41-28) with 4:04 left in the half. Union closed out the half with a 14-2 run to pull with in one point of the Cougars, 43-42, at the break.
Mountain State scored first to start the second half, but Union quickly tied it up 45-45 on a three-pointer by Neaville. The Cougars pulled away again, going up by 11 with 14:21 left in the game. Union again posted a run to tie the game at 73-73 with just over nine minutes remaining. The Union run was sparked by Neaville's 11 points in just one minute and 45 seconds. The two teams swapped baskets over the next five minutes until the game was once again tied at 85-85, with 4:50 remaining. However, the Union shooting went cold and the Cougars converted to pull away in the final mintues for the 100-89 final.
Union was lead in scoring by Neaville, who scored 22 of his 36 points in the second half, including nine three-pointers on the night. Tacuma Alexander put up 17 points and Tony Brown added 15 points for the Bulldogs.
Mountain State was lead by Spencer with 42, including 8-of-15 from behind the arc for the Cougars. Adron Marshall added 21 points. Jason McGriff posted a double-double for the night with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Tyrice Watson put up 10.
The Bulldogs will play again in the Freed-Hardeman Classic December 14-15. The Bulldogs face No. 25 Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) on Friday night at 6:00 pm. Union then plays University of Mobile (Ala.), who is receiving votes in the NAIA Preseason poll, at 4:00 pm on Saturday.
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