BRISTOL, Va. -- Turrell Morris
scored team-high 25 points to lead the way, as the Union men's basketball team fought off a furious comeback bid by Virginia Intermont on Thursday night to take a 93-89 victory.
The game was the Appalachian Athletic Conference season opener for both squads.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 7-8 overall, 1-0 in the AAC, while Virginia Intermont fell to 5-10 and 0-1 in the AAC.
In the first half, Union and VIC went into he half deadlocked at 42 apiece. At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs raced out to a large lead that they did not relinquish the rest of the game.
Virginia Intermont, however, made a strong comeback over the final minutes of the contest and had a chance to tie the game at 91 apiece in the final moments of the contest. But, VIC's Joshua Hart was called for an offensive foul with nine seconds left to turn the ball back over to Union. Bulldog James Strange
(Pineville, Ky.) then clinched the game for Union by making two free throws with three seconds left to give Union a win in their conference opener.
On the night, Union had five players record double-digit scoring nights, led by Morris' (Columbus, Ohio) 25 point night. He shot a torrid 8-for-10 from the floor in the victory and went 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Morris also snatched seven rebounds.
Sophomore Payton Ponzer
(Independence, Ky.) also ended with an impressive performance, finishing with 22 points on 4-for-5 shooting from outside the arc. Other double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs included Ryan Young
(Waynesburg, Ky.), who had 15 points and six assists, Cody Miller
(Barbourville, Ky.) who finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists and Ian Davis
(Cherry Hill, N.J.) who had 10 points.
Union shot 61.2% from the field in the contest and went 20-for-25 (80%) from the free throw line. Virginia Intermont was led by Daniel Ross, who scored a game-high 27 points. The Cobras, however, were hampered by a poor night of shooting from the charity stripe, going 24-40 in the loss.
Union returns to action on Saturday when they host Reinhardt at Robsion Arena in an AAC tilt. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.