JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/1/2007 - The Union University men’s basketball team snapped their longest losing skid in two years with a 77-66 win over Cumberland University (Tenn.) on Thursday night at “The Fred”. Union, ranked No. 22 in the latest poll, improved to 14-7 overall and 7-3 in the conference. Cumberland dropped to 11-10 on the season and 3-7 in league play.
With the win, Union sweeps the regular season series with Cumberland after posting a 74-56 win in Lebanon back in January.
Neither team shot well in the opening half as both sets of Bulldogs posted 36-percent shooting performances. Union scored first on a basket by Pierry Valmera. It was quickly answered by Cumberland’s Torrez Hampton to tie the game at 2-2. This would be the closest Cumberland would get for the remainder of the night. Union began to build a lead and posted their largest first half lead of 15 points, 29-14, at the 3:33 mark. At the break, Union boasted a 12-point advantage, 36-24.
In the second half, the shooting improved slightly with Union continuing to hold the momentum. Union stretched their lead to 16 points, the biggest of the game on a field goal by Mack Bealim to set the score at 42-26 at the 16:41 mark. Cumberland, however, posted a run of 14-5 run over the next three minutes to cut Union’s lead to just seven points. Union responded and held off their opponents as seven points was the closest Cumberland would get in the game. Union walked away with a 77-66 win to pull back into a tie for second place in the league.
Union shot 41-percent for the game, including 33-percent (6-18) from behind the arc. Cumberland shot 39-percent from the field and just 16-percent (3-19) from behind the arc.
The Union Bulldogs were led by Mack Bealim with 19 points. Deywane Lee added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Pierry Valmera scored 14 points.
Cumberland was led by Torrez Hampton with 13 points and Brandon Olkham with 12 points. Kevin Bufford grabbed 10 boards for Cumberland.
Up next for Union will be a top-25 battle with No. 19 Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.) on Saturday, February 3 at 4:00 pm in Union’s Fred DeLay Gymnasium. Union tries to avenge and earlier 86-70 loss at Trevecca Nazarene. And if this game needed any more juice, both Union and Trevecca Nazarene find themselves tied for second in the TranSouth along with Martin Methodist and Crichton with three losses each.
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