JACKSON, Tenn. - 11/25/2011 - The No. 22 Union University men’s basketball team posted a 74-65 win over McKendree (Ill.) University Friday in the first day of the Union Thanksgiving Classic. Union evens their record at 4-4, while McKendree dropped to 4-3.
This win for Union avenged an early season loss at McKendree, 77-69.
Union led 4-1 early in the game, but a quick 6-0 run put McKendree on top where they stayed for the majority of the first half. Union managed to tie the game at 28-28 with 2:56 left in the first half, but McKendree outscored Union 7-2 to close the half with a 35-30 lead.
Union opened the second half with an 8-2 run to take their first lead since it was 4-3. McKendree answered with a basket on the next possession to retake the lead, momentarily. Union scored next on a basket from Anthony Freeman, Jr. to lead 40-39 and Union never trailed again. After Union pushed their lead out to as many as six points, McKendree tied the game at 51-51 with 7:06 left. Union then posted a 11-2 run to lead by nine with 4:26 left to play. Union led by as many as 10 points down the stretch as they took the 74-65 win.
Union sank 15-of-16 free throws in the second half to seal the win down the stretch. Union finished the game 19-of-22 (86%) from the free throw line, while McKendree was 12-20 (60%) from the charity stripe.
Union was led by David Lane with 18 points, including a 9-of-10 night from the line. Skyler Vaden and Freeman added 15 points each, with 11 of Freeman’s points coming in the second half. All nine players that played for Union scored in the game. The Bulldogs shot 44 percent from the field, but just 17 percent (3-18) from long range.
McKendree was led by Karrington Pettiford with a game-high 21 points, including three 3-pointers. John Steppe added 14 points, also with three 3-pointers. The Bearcats shot 43 percent from the field and 39 percent (7-18) from long range. The Bearcats made 5-of-7 (71%) from long range in the first half.
Up next for Union will be another change to avenge an earlier loss at Union host No. 13 Tougaloo (Miss.) at 4:00 p.m. Saturday to close out the Union Thanksgiving Classic.
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