HARROGATE, Tenn. -
Sophomore Turrell Morris
scored 29 points to lead all scorers, as the Union men's basketball team earned a thrilling 71-66 victory in overtime against NCAA Division II member Carson Newman on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Union improved to 4-5 on the year, while Carson Newman fell to 1-4 with the loss. The contest was a part of the 2010 DeBusk-Burchett Holiday Classic held at Lincoln Memorial University.
In the first half, both teams traded the lead several times in the period, as the biggest lead of the first 20 minutes was a Carson Newman six point advantage with eight minutes remaining at 20-14.
Union took a one point lead (24-23) when Antonio Murry
(Nashville, Tenn.) nailed a three pointer, but Carson Newman came right back with a jumper to take the lead back at 25-24. The Eagles would continue to hold the lead the rest of the period, but the Bulldogs stayed within distance and faced just a 32-29 deficit at the half.
In the period, Morris (Columbus, Ohio) led the Bulldogs and all scorers with 10 points. Antonio Sullivan and Collin Crane each had seven for Carson Newman to lead the way.
In the second half, Carson Newman opened up a five point lead to start the period at 36-31. The Bulldogs, however, stayed within striking distance of the Eagles and took the lead back with seven minutes remaining at 43-42 on an Ian Davis
(Cherry Hill, N.J.) lay-in. The lead went back and fourth over the next three minutes, as Union took a three point lead at 50-47 with four minutes remaining on a Davis jumper.
Carson Newman then clawed their way back and held a 56-52 lead with 1:26 left in regulation. On Union's next possession, Morris jammed home a dunk to make it 56-54 with 1:14 left. After the Eagles connected on one of two free throws to make it 57-54, Davis knocked down another huge jumper in the lane to make it 57-56, Carson Newman with 33 seconds left.
After a Union foul and two made free throws by the Eagles, Davis drained a clutch three-pointer with nine seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 59 all. Carson Newman's Bradley Tumer had a chance to win it in regulation, but missed a jumper at the buzzer and the game headed to overtime.
In the extra frame, Union controlled the tempo from the start, scoring the first four points in the period. Carson Newman shortened the UC lead to one (63-62) with 1:52 left, but Murry and Morris hit consecutive jumpers to give Union a five point lead (67-62) that they would not relinquish over the final moments of the ballgame.
Overall, Morris scored his 29 points on an impressive 12-for-14 shooting performance from the field. Morris also corralled 13 rebounds (six on the offensive end) to notch his fifth double-double of the season. Morris also recorded a block and three assists on the day.
Other top scorers for Union were Davis, who had 14 points and recorded six assists, and Payton Ponzer
(Independence, Ky.) who had 11 points. Carson Newman was led on the afternoon by Bradley Turner, who had 10 points.
Union returns to action on Friday when they take on Asbury at the Berea College Tournament. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.