BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College guard DeAntray Stevens scored a game-high 30 points, as the Bulldogs took over sole possession of first place in the Appalachian Athletic Conference standings with a convincing 88-77 victory over Reinhardt (Ga.) on Wednesday evening at Robsion Arena.
With the win, the Bulldogs won their fifth straight game to improve to 15-3 overall, 8-1 in the AAC. Reinhardt fell to 10-8, 7-2 in the AAC with the defeat.
"This wasn't an easy game to play, but I thought we played well," said head coach Kevin Burton. "Our perimeter defense and our ability to rebound the basketball were the difference tonight. Our eagerness and desire to go to glass was great to see, [Reinhardt] was unable to get a second shot on a lot of possessions."
It was a close contest early in the first half, as the game was knotted up at nine after a Reinhardt basket. Shortly there after, Union took an 11-9 lead on a Fitzgerald White jumper. Once Union got that lead, they never gave it up the rest of the contest.
The White jumper ignited a 11-1 Union run, giving the Bulldogs a 20-10 lead with 14 minutes left. For the rest of the half, Union held a sizable lead and ended the half on a high, as White tipped in a putback at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 41-34 lead at intermission.
The start of the second half proved to critical, as Union put the game away with a big 12-2 run in the first five minute to go up 53-38. The lead proved to insurmountable for Reinhardt, as the closest the Eagles came to the lead the rest of the night was 10 points (87-77) with just 48 seconds left in regulation.
Overall, Stevens was dominant in the game with his 30-point evening, nailing six threes on the night (the most made on the year by a Union player). Other double-digit scorers on the evening were Tarik Smith, who came off the bench to score 17 points and White, who had 11 points.
Reinhardt was led in the loss by Quinton Wood, who scored 25 points.
By the Numbers
- Stevens has now led the Bulldogs in scoring in three of the four games he has played in, scoring in double-figures in all four contests. His 30 point total was the second highest on the year for the team, coming up just short of Smith's 31 point night against Montreat on Nov. 20.
- Coming into the game, Reinhardt was the second best rebounding team per game in all of NAIA Division II. Union, however, dominated the glass all night against the Eagles, out rebounding RU 45-33 on the night.
- On the offensive end, Union crashed the glass for 19 'boards (compared to 12 for RU). Leading the way was senior Archie Adams, who snatched six offensive rebounds on the night (a season-best).
- Union is now winners of nine of their last 10 games and have captured seven straight AAC contests.
Union hits the road on Saturday to kick-off the second half of the AAC season, traveling to Truett-McConnell (Ga.) for a conference tilt. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.