JACKSON, Tenn. - 1/8/2009 - The fifth ranked Union University Bulldogs used a three-pointer from senior Brian Lake at the buzzer to defeat No. 15 Cumberland (Tenn.) University 77-76. Lake's three pointer was his first of the game and came after Cumberland made one-of-two free throws to take a 76-74 lead with 13 seconds remaining.
Union led by seven points, 74-67, with 4:39 left in the game. However, Cumberland posted a 9-0 run to take a 76-74 lead with 13 seconds remaining.
Union trailed 75-74 inside 30 seconds left on the clock. After a missed three pointer from Matt Neaville, the rebound rolled out of bounds off of a Union player with 14 seconds left. Union was called for a foul on the inbounds pass that put Cumberland's Mario Stowers on the free throw line for two shots. Stowers made the first and missed the second, giving Union a chance for the win. Neaville took the rebound and sprinted for a final shot. After the team's leading scorer and top three-point shooter in the NAIA couldn't find an opening, Neaville found Lake who quickly put up the shot in traffic that touched nothing but net. The referees placed point-four seconds on the clock, but Cumberland's inbounds pass sailed out of bounds, giving Union the win.
The first half was almost as exciting as both teams lit up the scoreboard with high shooting percentages. Union shot 63-percent from the field in the first half, including 60-percent (6-10) from behind the arc. Cumberland shot 52-percent from the field and 57-percent (8-14) from behind the arc in the first half.
One tie and three lead changes highlighted the first half. Cumberland took their biggest lead of the game at eight points, 33-25 with 8:42 left in the half. Union held their biggest lead of the game with their eight-point, 49-41 halftime lead.
Union led 49-41 at the half, and maintained a lead for the majority of the second half. Union matched that eight-point lead at 68-60 with 8:07 left in the game, before Cumberland stormed back. From that point, Cumberland posted 15-6 run to take their first lead of the second half.
Union was led by Matt Neaville with 26 points, including 6-of-11 from behind the arc. Antoine Joseph followed his career high 27-point outing last Saturday, with 17 points. Lake added 11 points, including the game-winning three pointer. Union shot 52-percent for the game, 48-percent (10-21) from behind the arc, and 92-percent (11-12) from the free throw line.
Cumberland boasted five players in double figures, led by Thomas Douglas with 20 points. Rontreal Braxton scored 19 points, including 4-of-7 three pointers. Kenneth Simms and Quentin Turner added 12 points each, while Brandon Springer 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Cumberland Bulldogs shot 50-percent from the field, 50-percent (12-24) from behind the arc, and 47-percent (8-17) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be a non-conference rematch versus Life (Ga.) University on Monday, January 12 at 7:00 pm at Union. Life gave Union one of their three losses in a 100-92 game back in November of 2008.
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