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Heartbreaking end stuns Union in 66-65 loss to Cumberland

Skyler Vaden

JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/13/2012 - The last second tip-in by Union University senior guard Skyler Vaden was originally called good by the officials, sending the Union team and fans into celebration mode. However, after a minute of further discussion, the officials changed their call and waved off the basket, giving Cumberland University a 66-65 win at Union.

With Union leading by one, 65-64 and 29 seconds left, Cumberland’s Josh Pierce took the ball to the basket and was fouled. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Pierce sank both free throws to give Cumberland the 66-65 lead. Union had one last shot. Senior David Lane drove the length of the court, finding Dani Marti for the last shot. As Marti’s shot went long, Union’s Vaden tipped in the rebounded for what seemed to be the game-winning shot. However, the win was not to be.

Union held a slim 30-29 lead at the half. The second half featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes over the final 20 minutes where no team led by more than five points. Cumberland held that five point lead, 64-59, with 2:30 left in the game. Union responded with a 6-0 run, capped off by an old-fashion 3-point play to give Union a 65-64 lead with just under 30 seconds left.

Cumberland started the game with a 6-0 run and led 11-2 after five minutes of play. Union rallied back and led by as many as six points in the first half.

Union dropped their second straight loss and fourth in their last six games. The four losses in this stretch have been frustratingly close, including one by four points in overtime, one by three points, and two by one point. In fact, eight of Union’s 11 losses have been by 5 points or less.

Union dropped to 16-11 on the season and 9-4 in the TranSouth. Cumberland (19-7) pulled even with Union in a tie for second place at 9-4 in league play.

All five starters for Union recorded double figures, including 62 of the team’s 65 points. Lane scored 14 points, Vaden, Anthony Freeman, Jr., Leventrice Gray, and Antoine Hall each scored 12 points. Vaden added 10 rebounds in the game. Union shot 42 percent from the field, 19 percent (3-16) from long range, and 89 percent (16-18) from the free throw line.

Cumberland was led by Jerret Towns with a game-high 17 points. Johnny Williams scored 16 points, Michael Sweat scored 11 points and Lamar Brinkley added 10 points. Cumberland shot 36 percent from the field, 46 percent (6-13) from behind the arc, and 76 percent (16-21) from the free throw line.

Up next for Union will be a road conference game at Mid-Continent (Ky.), Thursday night at 8:00 p.m.


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

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