JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/27/2009 - The No. 11 ranked Union University Bulldogs earned a 68-60 win over No. 5 McKendree (Ill.) University on Friday night in the Union Bulldog Thanksgiving Classic. Union improved to 5-3 overall, while McKendree dropped to 7-2 on the season.
On the season, Union is now 2-1 versus teams ranked in the NAIA top-25. This was the second win over McKendree as the Bulldog posted a 66-64 win at McKendree back on November 14.
Union led by nine at halftime, 35-26, and held off a second half rally from the Bearcats of McKendree to secure the win.
After trailing 4-3 to start play, Union posted a 14-2 run to take a 17-6 lead at the 13:12 mark of the first half. Union pushed their lead to as many as 14 points in the first half, the last coming 30-16 at the 6:18 mark. However, a short 10-5 run by McKendree cut the halftime deficit to single digits.
In the second half, Union maintain a lead of as few as seven and as many as 12 points for the first seven minutes of play. Union led 50-38 with 12:58 left in the game.
McKendree then posted a 13-0 run over the next three-plus minutes to take a 51-50 lead. The Bearcats led again 53-52 with 8:04 left before Union regained the lead for good.
A three pointer from Tacuma Alexander put Union up 55-53. Union held on as McKendree cut the lead down to just one point, 58-57 with 5:10 left in the game. Union sank seven-of-nine free throws down the stretch, and got a third three pointer from Alexander to help seal the 68-60 win.
Union was led by Alexander with 19 points, including three-of-four shooting from behind the arc. Greg Truvillion added 16 points and nine rebounds. Union shot 51 percent from the field, 50 percent (5-10) from three point range and 68 percent (19-28) from the free throw line.
McKendree was led by Eric Hobbie with 19 points including two-of-five three pointers. Brad Copelin added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. McKendree shot 36 percent from the field, 33 percent (4-12) from behind the arc and 64 percent (14-22) from the free throw line.
Up next for Union will be another matchup with a ranked team as the Bulldogs host No. 23 Life (Ga.) on Saturday to cap off the Thanksgiving Classic at 4:00 p.m. McKendree plays Freed-Hardeman at 2:00 p.m. at Union.
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