BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union College men's basketball team dropped
a hard-fought, 65-62 decision to Shawnee State in their 2010-11 season opener
on Tuesday night in Robsion Arena.
With the loss, Union falls to 0-1 on the year, while Shawnee State improves to 1-0 with the win.
In the first half, both teams went into the half knotted at 34 apiece in a back-and-forth period.
Union knotted the game at 34 with 13 seconds left in the period when Turrell Morris
(Columbus, Ohio), connected on a strong lay-in. The Bulldogs were led in the half by Morris, who scored 12 and went an impressive 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Payton Ponzer
(Independence, Ky.) finished with nine in the half after draining two threes. Tyler Boyles led Shawnee State with nine points.
In the second half, things remained very tight throughout the period. With 4:30 left, Ponzer drained a three to make the score 56-50 in Union's favor, thus giving the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night. Union maintained the lead, but with 2:25 left, Shawnee State's Keelyn Franklin converted a three-point play to make it 58-56 Union. After a Union bucket, Franklin drained a three to cut the Union lead to one at 60-59.
Union, however, answered right back when Morris nailed a short range jumper to make it 62-59 Bulldogs. With the score 62-60, Union looked to extend the lead at the free throw line, but failed on two attempts.
Then, with 20 seconds left, Boyles nailed a three-pointer to give the Bears a 63-62 lead. On Union's next possession, Ponzer was fouled with 6.1 seconds left going to the lane and was awarded two-free throws. He, however, missed both attempts and Shawnee State gained possession.
After Franklin hit two free throws, Union's Ryan Young
(Waynesburg, Ky.) hurled a desperation three at the buzzer, but the shot clanked off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
For the night, Morris was Union's leading scorer with 17 points, while Ponzer ended with 13 points. Franklin led the charge for Shawnee State, scoring a game-high 19 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Boyles ended the night with 15 points, while Tyler Morgan had 14 points.
Union returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Indiana-East at Robsion Arena. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.