• 81°

Rams no match for No. 19 Union Bulldogs

BARBOURVILLE — Jakobe Wharton produced all the way around, and Richard Brown was nearly automatic from the floor as No. 19 Union College men’s basketball scored a 67-54 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) victory over visiting Bluefield College (Va.) on Thursday.

The win improves the Bulldogs to 17-7 overall and 14-4 in the AAC, while the Rams drop to 11-13 overall and 9-9 in the AAC.

DYNAMIC DUO

Wharton and Brown proved to be a solid 1-2 punch for Union. Wharton knocked in 16 points while hauling in seven rebounds and dishing out six assists. Meanwhile, Brown hit 9-of-12 shots from the floor in netting a game-high 18 points. He also matched Wharton for the team lead in rebounds with seven.

FIRST-HALF PUSH

The Bulldogs never trailed, and the score was tied twice early on with the final time coming at 4-all at the 17:03 mark. Play was relatively tight until midway through the half when Union embarked on a 13-2 run to open up a 30-15 lead. Isiah Knight drained a 3-pointer, and Brown followed up with a layup to give Union the 15-point cushion at the 6:57 mark.

Bluefield got the deficit down to 11, but Union took a 37-24 lead into the break.

In the second half, Union went on cruise control. The lead jumped to 61-40 after a Wharton trey at the 8:13 mark. The Rams never threatened the rest of the way despite outscoring the Bulldogs 14-6 down the stretch, making the final 67-54.

STAT OF THE GAME

Union converted Bluefield’s 16 turnovers into 17 points. Meanwhile, the Rams were only able to cash the Bulldogs’ 13 miscues for eight points.

BULLDOG NOTES

Union received 15 points from its bench as compared to Bluefield’s 12.

This is Union’s 14th consecutive win over Bluefield. The Rams have not won a game in the series since Nov. 30, 2011.

The Bulldogs connected on 47.5 percent (28-of-59) of their shots with the Rams making only 19-of-57 (33.3 percent) of theirs.

With four steals on the night, Austin Cummins is the 10th player since the 2003-04 season to record 50 steals in a season. He currently has 51. Fitzgerald White recorded 78 steals during the 2014-15 campaign, while Ty Sherman matched that number during the 2016-17 national title run.

NEXT FOR THE BULLDOGS

Union is back in action Saturday when it hosts Columbia International University (S.C.) for another conference tilt. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.