JACKSON, Tenn. - 2/23/2007 -
The No. 14 ranked Union University Bulldogs edged the No. 9 ranked Lambuth University Eagles in a slugfest, 88-87, in front of a packed Fred DeLay Gymnasium. With the win, Union improved to 20-8 on the season and 13-4 in the TranSouth. Lambuth dropped to 23-6 overall and 13-4 in league play.
Union, Lambuth, and Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) are now in a three-way tie for second place in the TranSouth with just one game left to play in the regular season. Crichton College (Tenn.) is alone at the top with a 14-3 league record.
Union avenged an earlier 85-76 loss at Lambuth. With the win, Union has now won six straight at home over Lambuth.
Lambuth scored first with a slam dunk by Foluke Tobin off of a Union turnover. However, Union answered with three straight field goals to take a 6-2 lead. In the first half, Union held the slim advantage the whole way and led 36-32 with 3:13 to play before the half. Over the final three minutes of the first half, Union posted a 9-2 run to go up by 11 points, the Bulldog’s largest lead of the game. Lambuth, then sank two free throws just before the half to set Union’s halftime lead at 45-36.
In the second half, Lambuth came out firing as the Eagles opened with a 21-9 run over the first four minutes of play to take a 57-54 lead with 15:57 left to play in the game. That three point lead was the largest of the game for Lambuth as Union was able to answer and regain the lead. Union jumped back out to a seven point advantage at 70-63. However, Lambuth tied the game for the final time at 70.
The second half produced six ties and six lead changes. Union took the lead on the next possession on a basket by freshman guard Tacuma Alexander and never trailed for the remaining nine minutes of play. Union led by as many as six points over the final nine minutes while Lambuth cut the lead to one on two occasions, including a lay-up by Steve Gray with 28 seconds left cut Union’s lead 88-87. Union had the ball with 28 seconds left, but a steal on the inbounds pass by Ivan Jenkins set up the drama for the final shot. Jenkins launched a fade-away three pointer in the final seconds that missed. The rebound was grabbed by Union’s Frederick and Lambuth’s Tobin. A jump ball gave Union possession with just three seconds left. Union’s first inbounds pass was tipped out of bounds by Lambuth, and the second inbounds pass went the length of the floor and was tipped and stolen by Lambuth’s Lovick as time expired. Union pulled out the win despite being outscored 5-0 in the final 1:41 of the game.
Union shot 57-percent from the field, including just 17-percent (2-12) from three-point range. Union also made just 55-percent of the free throws (16-29). Union committed 24 turnovers in the game but out-rebounded the Eagles 47-36 in the game. Lambuth posted 39-percent shooting from the field, including 24-percent (6-25) from behind the arc. Lambuth made 19-of-21 free throws for 91-percent.
Union was led by Frederick with a game-high 22 points including 7-10 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. Brian Lake added 17 points and 14 rebounds. Tacuma Alexander posted a career-high 16 points while Mack Bealim added 12 points. Union’s Alan North left the game late in the first half with an apparent injury and did not return in the game. Union finished play with just seven players.
Lambuth was led by the TranSouth Conference leading scorer, Ivan Jenkins, with 19 points, of which 15 points came in the second half. Kierren Lovick also added 19 points, while Floke Tobin and Jeremy Weddle added 16 points each.
Up next for Union will be a road test on Saturday, February 24 at Martin Methodist, the other team along with Union and Lambuth that is tied for second place. Lambuth will host Freed-Hardeman University on Saturday as well. These games will be the final regular season games of the year for all TranSouth teams.
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