Union men’s basketball unable to rally for the victory

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 21 Union College dropped its season Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) game of the season, falling 76-66 to host Columbia International University (S.C.) on Saturday.

The loss puts Union at 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the AAC, while CIU improves to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

TURNING POINT

Despite scoring the game’s opening points, Union spent the entire game playing catchup. Richard Brown gave the Bulldogs the early 2-0 lead, but the Rams countered with an 8-0 and never trailed again. Union got within 26-23 following a 5-0 spurt, but CIU took a 33-27 lead into the half.

Early in the second half, Union ripped off a 10-0 run to tie the score at 39-all with 14:14 remaining. Brown netted seven points during the stretch. Yet, Union never managed to grab the lead again. The Bulldogs cut the margin to one on two occasions with the final one coming with 6:23 mark after Jakobe Wharton sank a pair of free throws. However, CIU went on an 11-1 run to open up a 67-57 cushion and never looked back.

BULLDOG OF THE GAME

Brown missed getting a double-double, finishing with a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds. He shot 7-of-13 from the field and blocked four shots.

BULLDOG NOTES

Two other Bulldogs scored in double figures. Ronnie Carson poured in 17 points with Wharton adding 15.

CIU won the battle on the boards, outrebounding Union 37-36.

This marks the fourth time this season Brown scored 20 or more points in a game. Only Carson has more with five.

NEXT FOR THE BULLDOGS

Union returns home to host Truett McConnell University (Ga.) on Wednesday for another conference battle. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.