BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College guard Tarik Smith scored a game-high 17 points, as the Bulldogs opened a big lead in the first half and never looked back in a convincing 70-53 win over Truett-McConnell (Ga.) on Saturday evening at Robsion Arena in Appalachian Athletic Conference action.
With the victory, Union moved to 6-2 overall, 3-1 in the AAC, while Truett-McConnell fell to 0-7 overall with the loss, 0-2 in the AAC.
In the first half, the Bulldogs took the early 2-0 lead, and proceeded to not relinquish it the rest of the night. The game, however, remained tight through the first 10 minutes, as Union held an 18-11 lead.
With 5:43 left in the period, TMC knocked the Union lead down to five points (24-19). However, this was the closest the visiting Bears came to the Bulldog lead the rest of the night, as Union raced on a 12-0 run over the next few minutes to open up a 36-19 lead with two minutes left.
The Bulldogs would roll into the half, as Gerard Newby made a shot at the buzzer to give Union a 42-24 lead heading into the locker room for intermission.
To start the second half, Union put TMC away, opening on a 5-0 run to stretch the lead out to 25 points, (49-24). From there, the Bulldogs rolled, taking an insurmountable 26-point lead, (56-30), with 14 minutes left. Union coasted the rest of the way, on their way to the 17-point conference win.
Overall, Smith led the way with his 17-point evening on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. The senior guard also recorded three steals and snatched five rebounds in the win. Elsewhere, forward Deante Johnson was the only other Union player to score in double-figures on the night, scoring 11 points, with six rebounds, while guard Michael Bueter dished out a game-high eight assists and scored nine points.
Truett-McConnell was led in the win by J'Qauveon Williams and Jr Hurst, who scored 10 points, apiece.
By the Numbers
- Smith led the Bulldogs in scoring for the second straight game, and for the 13th time in his two-year career in the victory.
- The meeting between Union and Truett-McConnell was the first between the schools, all-time. TMC is the newest member of the AAC, joining the conference officially this past August.
- This was Union's fourth win of the season in which they did not trail at any point during the game. Earlier in the year, the Bulldogs went three whole games without trailing.
Union hits the road on Tuesday, traveling to Virginia Intermont for another AAC tilt. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.