BARBOURVILLE, Ky. --
Union College's Brent Cork
scored a game-high 23 points to pace the Bulldogs to a 89-79 victory in NAIA men's basketball action at Robsion Arena on Friday evening. The game was apart of the 2011 UC Bulldog Classic, and was Union's 2011-12 home opener.
With the victory, Union won their first game of the 2011-12 season, improving their record to 1-4 overall. Asbury fell to 2-3 on the year with the defeat.
"This was a great team effort by our guys tonight," said head coach Sean Gillespie
. "This was a big bounce back performance for us after the way we played Wednesday night [against Indiana Wesleyan]. The last two days in practice we've talked about toughness, and our guys were exactly that tonight.
"We're going to have to build on this, but it feels great to get our first win of the year."
In the first period, Asbury came out shooting very well, jumping out to an 11-5 lead in the first couple of minutes. Union, however, went on a run of their own, and took their first lead of the night at the 15 minute mark on a Cody Miller
(Barbourville, Ky.) layup at 14-13. Asbury quickly took the lead back, but the Bulldogs came right back and took a lead, eventually extending it out to 24-19 after Cork (Saginaw, MIch.) sank two free throws with 8:58 left in the half.
Asbury continued to stay within striking distance for the entire half, but Union never relinquished the lead, eventually taking their biggest lead of the night with two minutes to go in the period at 33-25 after an Ian Davis
(Cherry Hill, N.J.) lay-in. Asbury closed the half with a small run to get the deficit down to four, but Union still maintained a 37-33 lead at intermission.
To start the second half, Asbury quickly cut the UC lead down to 39-36 after sinking a three pointer, and even got the it down to one point (at 51-50) with 12 minutes left after another three. But, once again, Union went on a run when the Eagles got close to their lead, extending it out to 62-54 with 9:52 left after a Cork lay-in.
It was here that the Bulldogs began to put the game away, taking control over the next few minutes to build an insurmountable 71-61 lead with five minutes left after a Davis lay-in. UC eventually increased the lead to 14 (at 77-63) with 3:53 left after another Cork lay-in, and never looked back the rest of the way, coasting to a 10-point victory in their home season opener.
Overall, Cork's 23 points came from a 9-of-13 shooting night from the field. He also went 5-of-7 from the free throw line, snatched six rebounds, recorded four assists, and had three steals. James Strange
(Pineville, Ky.) was UC's second leading scorer with 16 points, while also recording nine rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Davis ended the night with 12 points (of 6-of-7 shooting), and Carlos Sanford
(Durham, N.C.) rounded out the Bulldog double-digit scorers in the win, scoring 11 points.
Asbury was led in the loss by Brock Hurtle, who paced five Eagle double-digit scorers with 16 points.
In the first game of the Classic, Reinhardt defeated Tennessee Temple 83-70. David Lawson led Reinhardt in the victory, scoring 28 points.
Union returns to action tomorrow when they conclude play in the 2011 Bulldog Classic with a tilt against Tennessee Temple. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at Robsion Arena.