No. 14 Union secures 6th-straight AAC regular-season crown

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

MONTREAT, N.C. – Good things come to those who wait.

It took longer than usual, but No. 14 Union College secured the 2018-19 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) regular-season championship with a convincing 91-62 victory over host and No. 18 Montreat College on Saturday.

Both teams entered the fray with identical 17-4 conference records with the victor gaining the spoils of the regular-season title and an automatic berth to the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament. This is the Bulldogs’ sixth AAC regular-season championship in a row and seventh overall. Union (23-6 overall, 18-4 AAC) enter next week’s AAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

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Montreat (21-6 overall, 17-5 AAC) is the No. 2 seed for the tournament.


Jakobe Wharton opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, and the Bulldogs never trailed the entire game. In fact, the game was never tied. The closest Montreat came to pulling even was two points, a deficit it held on three occasions – the final time coming on an Eric Reed jumper to make it 21-19 Union with 9:32 left in the first half. The Bulldogs outscored the Cavaliers 26-12 the rest of the period for a 47-31 halftime cushion.

Union opened the second half on a 9-2 run in building a 56-33 lead by the 16:05 mark. From that point on, the margin never dipped below 21. The Bulldogs led by as much as 33 on their way to the 91-62 outcome and the conference championship.


Jabari Antwine flirted with a triple-double, scoring 13 points to go along with a season-high nine assists and eight rebounds. The senior guard hit 2-for-4 from 3-point range and had five steals to boot.


The Bulldogs made the most of the Cavaliers’ miscues, scoring 18 points off of the home team’s 17 turnovers. Union also registered 12 steals on the night.


Four Bulldogs scored in double figures. Joining Antwine are K.J. Duronslet (20 points), DeMarkus Loman (15 points), and Wharton (10 points).

Duronslet missed out recording his 12th double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high nine rebounds.

This is the sixth-straight win at Montreat. The last time Union lost at McAlister Gymnasium was on Jan. 31, 2013.

Union closed out the regular season by winning its final two conference games by a total margin of 69 points.


Union will open play in the AAC Tournament on Thursday as the top-seeded team. The Bulldogs will play the eighth-seeded team at 12 p.m. The tournament is being held at MeadowView Marriott Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn. The tournament bracket will be announced on Sunday.