BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Guard Tyler Wagner came off the bench and scored a game-high 22 points, leading six Union double-digit scorers in a 119-75 victory over Boyce (Ky.) on Tuesday evening at Robsion Arena. The game was the 2013-14 season opener for the Bulldogs.
With the decisive win, Union moved to 1-0 on the young season, while Boyce fell to 0-1 with the loss.
In the first half, Boyce scored the first basket of the game, taking what turned out to be their only lead of the night. Union opened up a 21-11 lead with 12 minutes to go in the period after Wagner drained a three. However, Boyce came back, cutting the Union lead down to three (29-26) with nine minutes to go in the half.
The closest Boyce got to the Union lead came with 8:09 left, as trailed by just two points at 32-30. From there, Union dominated play, going on a 28-11 run down the stretch to take a 60-41 lead going into intermission.
Union put the game away early in the second half, keeping up their scoring run from the end of the first half to open up a 79-49 lead at the 15-minute mark. From there, the home Bulldogs rolled, coasting their way to a big 44-point season opening win.
Overall, Wagner led the way, pouring in 22 points on the heels of five made threes. Wagner also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe in the victory.
Other double digit scorers for Union included freshman Michael Bueter, who scored 19 points (on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor), Sean Brown and Tarik Smith, who had 16 points, apiece, Fitzgerald White, who had 14 points, and Gerard Newby, who ended with 11 points.
Boyce was led in the loss by Austin Murphee, who ended the night with 21 points.
By the Numbers
- Wagner's 22 point evening fell just three points short of matching his career-high, which was achieved last season vs. St. Andrews
- Smith picked up where he left off last season in the victory with a double-digit scoring night. It marked the 18th time the senior has scored in double digits in his career.
- Bueter, Brown, White, and Newby all played the first games of their Union careers on the night, and were equally impressive.
- Brown went 6-of-7 from the field, White recorded team highs on the night in rebounds (eight) and assists (seven), and Newby blocked two shots. Meanwhile, Bueter pulled down four rebounds and added three assists.
- The 119-point night is now the highest for the Bulldogs under head coach Kevin Burton. The previous high came in a 113-83 victory over West Virginia-Parkersburg last season
Union travels to Alice Lloyd (Ky.) for another out-of-conference tilt on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.