Union earn sweep with victories over Truett McConnell

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2018

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – No. 16 Union College survived a scare, as it held on for the 76-73 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) victory over visiting Truett McConnell on Saturday.

The Bulldogs improve to 15-7 overall and 12-3 in the AAC, while the Bears drop to 14-10 overall and 7-8 in league play.

On a night when there were several big contributors to the victory, K.J. Duronslet registered a dominant performance as he contributed in every facet of the game. He recorded a career-high 19 rebounds, which ties him for the most by any player in the AAC this season. Duronslet was four away from tying the school record, which was set by Bill Trent during the 1963-64 season.

Duronslet also knocked in 14 points for his third double-double of the year. And the junior guard also had career highs in steals (six) and blocks (five) to go along with three assists.

Lance Blakely also registered his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Dominique Lindsey netted a game-high 20 points. Stuart Jackson added 15 points, hitting 7-of-10 from the foul line.

The Bulldogs led the majority of the game, but they had to fend off the hard-charging Bears to record the three-point victory.

A tight first half saw neither team get much of an advantage. However, Union closed out the period on a 6-0 run, which included back-to-back, electrifying dunks from Jackson, to head into the break up 41-34.

As the second half unfolded, Union appeared on its way to an easy win. A Lindsey bucket with 15:28 left put the Bulldogs up 55-39 for the team’s largest lead of the night.

Yet, the Bears kept battling back. Down 10, Truett McConnell went on a 9-0 run to cut the margin to 72-71 with 12 seconds to play. Over the next 10 seconds, Union went 4-of-6 at the line with Truett McConnell going 2-for-4 to make it 76-73 with 1.5 seconds to go.

The Bears’ Christian Davis attempted a desperation 3-pointer just past midcourt, but Jackson was there to block it, denying it a chance to even get on frame in preserving the 76-73 Bulldog win.

Filipe Goncalves led Truett McConnell in scoring with 14 points, while Jacob Booke and Davis added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Calvin White came off the finish to notch a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The victory avenges an 83-65 loss at Truett McConnell on Dec. 2.

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Dingess nets career high as Union scores 71-56 AAC win

The Union College women’s basketball dominated offensively with four players hit in double digits, as the Bulldogs registered a 71-56 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) win over visiting Truett McConnell on Saturday.

Union shot a 43.5 percent (27-of-62) from the field and 85.7 percent (6-of-7) from the free-throw line.

The win ups the Bulldogs’ record to 10-12 and 7-10 in conference play, while the Bears fall to 3-19 on the year and 1-16 in the AAC.

Brooke Hammonds netted a team high in scoring (20 points) and rebounds (12). Close behind her was Taylor Dingess with a career-high 16 points, Cheyanne Stidham contributed 12 points, while Chariss Wilson finished out the double digits for the Bulldogs with 10 points.

The win was nothing short of a total team effort as the Bulldogs bench scored 33 points, as the team tallied 39 rebounds.

Union never trailed the Truett McConnell Lady Bears with the largest lead being by 21 during the fourth period. The Bulldogs opened up the game with an 8-0 run with 6:53 remaining in the first period. The Lady Bears finally got on the board with a shot from behind the arc, but Union answered back with four points, closing out the period 17-11.

The Bulldogs pushed the margin to double digits, after Jenna Mills hit a 3-pointer to lead Truett McConnell by 12 points. The Lady Bears went on a 7-0 run during the final minutes of the half, but Union held a 34-29 lead going into the locker room.

The Bulldogs offense continued to pick up steam in the second half, outscoring the Bears 19-17 in the third and 18-10 in the fourth.

Union owned the lane, scoring 54 points in the paint. The Bulldogs also outrebounded Truett McConnell 39-34 and had 22 points off the Lady Bears’ turnovers.

For Truett, Anna Murr recorded 22 points, while Bralise Reese netted 14 of her own.