By John Gatto
For the Mountain Advocate
Forward Deante Johnson (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) paced four double-digit scorers with 19 points, as the Union College men’s basketball team coasted to a convincing 89-70 victory over Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday night in Appalachian Athletic Conference play at Robsion Arena.
The win was Union’s 10th straight, as the Bulldogs moved to 19-4 overall on the year, 12-1 in the AAC with the victory. Tennessee Wesleyan fell to 10-12, 5-9 in the AAC with the loss.
In the first three minutes of the contest, the pace of play was fast and furious, as Union clung to a 9-8 lead over TWC. Here, the host Bulldogs went on a big run that essentially put the visitors away, as a 14-2 spurt put Union up 23-10 with 12:51 left in the half.
The rest of the half saw Union maintain a large lead over TWC, as it stayed at double-digits for the rest of the period. When the horn sounded for halftime, Union held a 44-30 lead over TWC, as the host Bulldogs shot 53 percent in the first half to take the big lead.
Union put some more separation between themselves and Wesleyan at the beginning of the second half, as a quick 11-2 run put the host Bulldogs up 55-32 with 16 minutes left in the game.
Once Union went up by over 20 points, TWC was unable to get very close (19 points on two separate occasions, including the end of the game), as Union rolled down the stretch to notch their 10th straight win.
Overall, Johnson paced a balanced scoring night for Union with his 19-point performance. The senior missed just two shots on the evening (8-of-10), while snatching seven rebounds, as well.
Elsewhere, JD Tucker (JR/Charleston, S.C.) poured in 18 points, Fitzgerald White (SR/Miami, Fla. ) posted another double-digit scoring night (his 13th of the season) with 16 points, and Dominique Hagans (SR/Lexington, Ky.) had another great all-around effort, scoring 10 points, pulling down eight rebounds, and dishing out six assists.
Tennessee Wesleyan was led in the victory by Stephen Kite Jr., who had a game-high 23 points.
By the Numbers
- ¥ Since losing to Milligan on Dec. 1, Union has won nine games in a row in AAC play. Also, dating back to last season, the Bulldogs have now won 20 of their last 22 AAC regular season contests.
- ¥ Tennessee Wesleyan led very early in the contest, (6-4), marking the first time they led at any point against Union in two match-ups this season. They would not lead again for the duration of regulation.
- ¥ Union forced 21 turnovers in the win, and recorded 15 steals, adding to the already NAIA Division II lead in total steals (279).
- ¥ Union will end the month of January going a perfect 10-0, outscoring their opponents by a staggering margin of 934-694.
Union leaps out-of-conference on Monday, taking on a tough Berea (Ky.) team at Robsion Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.