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No. 3 Union falls in second round to Columbia

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 3/20/2009 - Unseeded Columbia College (Mo.) shot 55-percent in the first half and never looked back in posting an 84-64 upset victory over No. 3 seed Union University in the second round of the 2009 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship on Friday at Municipal Auditorium.

Jason Ellis poured in a team-high 23 points, while Brett Hoskins connected for 18 points in leading Columbia to its first-ever appearance in the NAIA Tournament quarterfinal round. With the victory, Columbia moves to 28-7 overall and will meet sixth-seeded Westminster College (Utah) in a tournament quarterfinal contest Saturday at 6 p.m. CDT. The Cougars have won their last eight games and 15 of their last 16 outings.

Brett Hoskins and Jason Ellis combined to score the first 12 points of the contest, leading Columbia to an early double-digit lead. Hoskins had seven of the points while Ellis contributed five. Union chipped away at the deficit and pulled to within 23-17 on a three-pointer by Matt Neaville with 10:23 left in the period. The Cougars quickly regrouped and reeled off the next seven points to regain a 30-17 advantage at the 7:22 mark of the half.

After building a 38-25 lead at the intermission, Columbia turned up its offensive intensity even more, connecting on 66.7 percent of its field goal tries (10-of-15) in the final 20 minutes. The Cougars also made 24-of-28 free throws as they maintained their double-digit lead in the final half. For the game, Columbia shot 59.1 percent (26-of-44) from the floor and 83.9 percent (26-of-31) from the free throw line.

Christian Lewis added 11 points for Columbia, while Greg Stegeman hauled in a team-best seven rebounds with a pair of blocked shots. Terrell Turner dished out a game-high four assists for the Cougars.

Union, the TranSouth Athletic Conference Tournament champions, closes out its season with an overall mark of 29-6. Greg Truvillion registered a game-high 24 points along with nine rebounds to lead the way for the Bulldogs, while Neaville was the only other Union player to reach double figures with 11 points. Brian Lake matched Truvillion on the boards with nine rebounds.


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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