ATHENS, Tenn. - Union College overcame a five-point deficit late in the game but could not push on through for the victory as host Tennessee Wesleyan College recorded the 68-65 Appalachian Athletic Conference win Saturday.
Tennessee Wesleyan improved to 6-9 overall and 4-1 in league play following the win, while Union dropped to 8-9 overall and 3-3 in the AAC.
Down 61-56 with 5:15 to play, Union pulled even at 61-61 with 3:10 on the clock thanks to three points from Darrell Jackson (Jonesboro, Ark.) and two from Curtis Stephens (Detroit, Mich.).
Tennessee Wesleyan netted the next four points, but a Kearney Demus (Lexington, Ky.) bucket made it 65-63 with 52 seconds remaining. Matt Harper then made 1-of-2 free throws to push the lead to three with 16 seconds to go.
Yet, Jackson countered with a basket to make it 66-65 with 10 seconds left. Sean Bridges pushed Tennessee Wesleyan's lead back to three with a pair of free throws at the six-second mark.
Neither team was very successful from long range as both made just two 3-pointers. Union went 2-for-11 (18.2 percent) with Tennessee Wesleyan going 2-for-18 (11.1 percent).
Union shot 40.4 (23-of-57 shots) from the field, while Tennessee Wesleyan did slightly better in making 41.9 percent (26-of-62) of its shots.
Stephens led all scorers with 24 points with Jackson helping out with 19. Beau Brown (Athens, Tenn.) nealy had a double-double with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
For Tennessee Wesleyan, Quincy Scates led the way with 16 points, while Matt Towery and E'Jay Ward chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Jackson fired a shot at the buzzer to try to force overtime, but it was no good as Tennessee Wesleyan held on for the 68-65 decision.
Union returns to action Monday when it hosts NCAA Division II King (Tenn.) College at 7 p.m.