By John Gatto
For the Mountain Adevocate
Union College forward Deante Johnson (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) scored a season-high 30 points, as he joined the Bulldog 1,000 career point club in a convincing 99-67 victory over Kentucky Christian in NAIA men’s basketball action on Saturday at Robsion Arena.
With the win, Union captured their eighth victory in a row to improve to 17-4 overall on the season. Kentucky Christian fell to 6-16 with the defeat.
In the first half of the victory, the Bulldogs leaped out to a quick 6-0 lead on the heels of three straight Johnson baskets to start the game. Once Union grabbed the lead in the win, they never relinquished it for 40 minutes, as the closest KCU came to the Bulldog lead in the first half was five points.
KCU, however, kept things competitive throughout the first period, as they cut the Union lead down to seven points (35-28) with three minutes left in the half. But, the Bulldogs put away the Knights with a spurt to end the period, as they raced into the locker room on a 9-2 run to go up 44-30 at the half.
The run continued into the start of the second half, as the Bulldogs opened up an insurmountable 58-37 lead four minutes into the period (a 14-7 run). From there, the only drama remaining in the contest was whether or not Johnson would get to 1,000 career points.
With 14:32 left, Johnson got to the basket and laid in a shot for his 27th point on the day, putting him over the 1,000th point plateau for his two and a half year career at Union. From there, the Bulldogs rolled, as the coasted to a 32-point home victory in out-of-conference play.
For Johnson, his 30-point output came off a dazzling performance from the floor, as the senior shot 13-of-14 overall and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Johnson also came with a rebound of notching a double-double, snatching nine rebounds on the afternoon.
Elsewhere, Dominique Hagans (SR/Lexington, Ky.) registered another solid game, scoring 13 points, recording six steals, and snatching five rebounds. Also, forward Fitzgerald White (SR/Miami, Fla. ) dished out nine assists, a career-high for the senior.
By the Numbers
- ¥ Johnson is the 27th player in Union College men’s basketball program history to score over 1,000 points for his career. He is the first Bulldogs to hit the plateau since Chris Stunston in 2008.
- ¥ Since the Bulldogs got back from Holiday break, they have won seven of eight games by double-digits, never trailing in four of those contests.
- ¥ In the month of January, Union is beating their opponents by a combined score of 766-550
- ¥ Today’s win was head coach Kevin Burton‘s 60th since he joined the program before the 2012-13 season. Burton sits at 198 career wins, overall (at four-year institutions).
- ¥ The only streak broken in today’s game was Union’s four-game streak of scoring at least 100 points in a contest.
The Bulldogs hit the road on Wednesday for a pivotal Appalachian Athletic Conference tilt at Milligan (Tenn.). The battle between the two top teams in the AAC tips off at 7:30 p.m.