JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/20/2010 - The No. 10 ranked Union (Tenn.) University men’s basketball posted a 97-65 win over Blue Mountain (Miss.) College on Saturday. The win clinched a share to the 2010 TranSouth regular season title. However, a loss just moments later by second place Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) in their game, gave Union the outright championship for the second straight season.
Union improved to 22-7 overall and 13-2 in the TranSouth. Blue Mountain dropped to 1-29 on the season and 1-13 in league play.
The first half was much more competitive that expected between a 22-win team and a one-win team. Union jumped out quickly to an 11-4 lead at the 15:23 mark following a three pointer by Martez Hawkins. However, Blue Mountain refused to go away. The Toppers rallied back and took a 20-19 lead for their first lead of the game at the 11:01 mark. The two teams went back and forth over the remainder of the half, including one tie and four lead changes. Union clung to a slim 38-37 lead at the break.
The second half was much different. After Blue Mountain led 42-40 early in the half, Union posted a 14-0 run to push their lead to 54-42.
The Bulldog offense that had shot just 30 percent over the first 10 minutes of the game, posted 60 percent shooting in the second half. Union continued to extend their lead as they outscored Blue Mountain 59-28 in the second half. Union cruised to the 97-65 final.
Union was led by Roland Banhoro with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Samuel Danache added 18 points, Keith Tolliver scored 17 points and Stan McNeil added 12 points. Hawkins dished out 10 assists in the game. Union shot 54 percent from the field, 29 percent (6-21) from long range and 58 percent (11-19) from the free-throw line.
Blue Mountain was led by Brad Pressley with 13 points and Mike Chatham with 10 points. The Toppers shot 31 percent from the field, 31 percent (8-26) from behind the arc and 56 percent (9-16) from the free-throw line.
Up next for Union will be their final regular season game of the year when they travel to Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) on Thursday for an 8:00 p.m. game.
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