BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College had just enough firepower to outlast visiting Berea (Ky.) College to win 104-97 shootout Friday.
The Bulldogs (4-4 overall) shot 67.3 percent (37-of-55) from the field and went 10-for-19 (52.6 percent) from behind the arc, but it was almost not nearly enough as the Mountaineers overcame a 21-point, second half deficit to make things interesting down the stretch.
Up 58-44 at the half, Union went on a 7-0 run to build what seemed to be a comfortable 65-44 cushion just 34 seconds into the period. However, Berea steadily chipped away at the deficit and eventually pulled within 76-69 after a Mikah Turner 3-pointer with 13:31 to play.
The Bulldogs regrouped and used a 7-2 surge to take an 83-71 lead with 10:48 remaining.
Yet, Berea (5-3 overall) kept battling. After cutting the margin down to two, Rudy Evans drained a 3-pointer with 4:48 to go to give Berea a 92-91 lead.
Then, with the score tied at 94-94, Darrel Jackson (Jonesboro, Ark.) scored back-to-back buckets as part of a 6-0 Bulldog run to put Union ahead 100-94 with 1:09 to play. The Bulldogs accounted for four of the final seven points in the game to seal the 104-97 decision.
In all, six Bulldogs scored in double figures with Jackson's 19 points leading the way. Dan Penick (Ludlow, Ky.) and Beau Brown (Athens, Tenn.) followed with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Penick was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. Payton Ponzer (Independence, Ky.) chipped in 14 points, while Jerome Carmichael (Newport, Tenn.) and Josh Hurd (Independence, Ky.) contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Evans led Berea with 30 points with Turner knocking in 29 points. Prince Stewart added 15 points. The Mountaineers finished the game making 59.7 percent (37-of-62) of their shots. However, Berea hit just 11-of-21 free throws (52.4 percent) on the night.
For much of the first half, the score remained tight with neither team holding more than a six-point edge. Tied at 35-35, Union began to pull away as it used a 23-6 run to open up a 58-41 cushion en route to a 58-44 halftime lead.
During the rally, Hurd accounted for eight points, including six in a row.
The Bulldogs connected on 73.3 percent (22-of-30) of their shots in the first half and went 8-for-12 (66.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Union returns to action Saturday when it plays host to Indiana University Southeast at 6 p.m.