BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College's Tarik Smith scored a game-high 25 points, as the Bulldogs pulled away from St. Andrews (N.C.) in the second half in an 81-54 win on Wednesday evening at Robsion Arena in Appalachian Athletic Conference action. The game was the 2012-13 AAC opener for both teams.
With the win, UC moved to 5-4 overall on the year, 1-0 in AAC, while St. Andrews fell to 0-7 overall, 0-1 in the AAC with the loss.
At the end of the first half, Union held a slim 32-28 lead over St. Andrews, in a period where both teams were having trouble scoring. Overall, UC shot just 32 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes, while St. Andrews was held to just 25 percent shooting.
In the second half, the Bulldogs pulled away from the Knights in the first few minutes of the period. In the first two minutes, Matthew Thomas
single-handedly put Union up 10 (40-30) after making two threes and a jumper. The threes continued to rain over the next couple of minutes for the Bulldogs, capped by a James Strange
tray at the 16-minute mark that gave UC a 46-32 lead.
From there, the Bulldogs continued to roll, taking an insurmountable 20-point lead (55-35) with 12-minutes left after an Archie Adams
jumper. The closest St. Andrews would come to the lead the rest of the night was 12 (57-45 with eight minutes left), as Union coasted down the stretch to notch a convincing 27-point victory in their AAC season opener.
The Bulldogs eventually put the game away on the heels of a strong second half, in which they outscored St. Andrews 49-26. The UC defense was also stout in the win, holding the Knights to just 29 percent shooting from the floor.
Overall, Smith recorded his 25-point night on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, nailing 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Smith also pulled down seven rebounds on the night, as well. Meanwhile, Thomas ended the night with 18 points, going a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
Other double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs included Adams, who notched his second double-double of the year with 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) and a game-high 18 rebounds. The 18 ‘boards for Adams were a season-high for the junior, as he also blocked three shots on the night, as well. The final double-digit scorer for UC was Strange, who also finished with 14 points.
St. Andrews was led in the loss by DJ Carnegie, who finished with 17 points.
The Union College men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Tennessee Wesleyan for another AAC contest. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.