• Tuesday, Mar 14
    Cornerstone University vs 69
    Union 72
  • Monday, Mar 13
    Indiana Wesleyan University vs 80
    Union 92
  • Saturday, Mar 11
    Trinity International University vs 60
    Union 98
  • Friday, Mar 10
    College of Idaho vs 82
    Union 83
  • Wednesday, Mar 8
    Aquinas College vs 83
    Union 95
  • Saturday, Feb 25
    Reinhardt vs 58
    Union 85
  • Friday, Feb 24
    Tennessee Wesleyan at 77
    Union 95
  • Friday, Feb 24
    Allen vs 80
    Reinhardt 92
  • Thursday, Feb 23
    St. Andrews vs 66
    Union 84
  • Thursday, Feb 23
    Bluefield at 90
    Tennessee Wesleyan 95
    AAC Quarterfinal @ Kingsport, Tenn.
  • Thursday, Feb 23
    Bryan at 71
    Reinhardt 78
  • Thursday, Feb 23
    Allen vs 82
    Montreat 70
  • Wednesday, Feb 22
    St. Andrews vs 88
    Milligan 76
  • Wednesday, Feb 22
    Bryan vs 72
    Truett McConnell 67
    AAC Tournament | Opening Round | Kingsport, Tenn.
  • Wednesday, Feb 22
    Point vs 69
    Allen 74
  • Saturday, Feb 18
    Allen at 98
    St. Andrews 85
  • Saturday, Feb 18
    Montreat at 89
    Tennessee Wesleyan 90
  • Saturday, Feb 18
    Johnson Bible at 78
    Milligan 107
  • Saturday, Feb 18
    Truett McConnell at 69
    Bryan 70
  • Saturday, Feb 18
    Reinhardt at 80
    Bluefield 82
Allen University Bluefield College Bryan College Columbia College Milligan College Montreat College Point University
Reinhardt University SCAD Atlanta St. Andrews University Tennessee Wesleyan College Truett-McConnell College Union College
News Photo
Men's Basketball - Mon, Mar. 13, 2017

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – One. More. Game.

Top-seeded Union College pieced together one of its best overall games of the season in registering a 92-80 victory on Monday over No. 4-ranked Indiana Wesleyan to advance to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Championship title game.

The Bulldogs now have won 32 games in a row, upping their overall record to 34-3. Union will face No. 2 Cornerstone (Mich.) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.

Mike Martin (SR/Flint, Mich.) scored the game's first points, but Indiana Wesleyan reeled off the next seven to take a 7-2 lead with 18:14 to go in the half. In what has become commonplace for the Bulldogs, the team responded with a 17-4 run to seize a 19-11 advantage. Gerrard Newby (SR/Lexington, Ky. ) buried the first of his three 3-pointers of the night to give Union the eight-point lead at the 13:22 mark.

From that point on, Union never trailed again.

"Obviously, Indiana Wesleyan is a superb team," said head coach Kevin Burton. "I thought we were really aggressive … and that our mentality was better than any technicality of the ballgame as far as execution and that sort of thing."

A big key for the Bulldogs was their work on the glass. Union outrebounded Indiana Wesleyan 45-33 and hauled in 17 offensive boards. The Bulldogs tallied 13 second-chance points, while only allowing the Wildcats (29-8) to net seven.

"Our mentality helped us rebound the basketball," noted Burton.

Once Union built the eight-point lead, the margin never dipped below six as it took a 46-35 lead into the half.

The Bulldogs came out of the locker room on fire, quickly stretching the lead to 52-35 thanks to a Martin 3-pointer and an old-fashioned, three-point play from Newby.

Still, Indiana Wesleyan did not wilt until the pressure. The Wildcats fought back with an 11-2 run, cutting the deficit to 54-46 following a Jacob Johnson basket with 14:27 to play.

Once again, Union found the answer it needed in an 11-0, which was capped by three consecutive 3-pointers – two from Sam Natt (SR/Los Angeles, Calif.) and one from Newby. The rally pushed the lead to 70-50 with 11:10 remaining.

"When we had a big lead and they, of course, made their run," said Burton. "I really liked how aggressive we were offensively, looking for open looks. Their full-court defense kind of spaced out the defense for us to get some open looks."

Indiana Wesleyan countered with a 10-0 run of its own to make it 70-60 with 7:21 to play. Union pushed the lead back up to 17, yet Indiana Wesleyan would not go away. The Wildcats rallied yet again and made it an 83-74 contest after a pair of Joel Okafor free throws with 1:46 to play.

The Bulldogs, though, put the clamps down and closed out the game by hitting 9-of-12 free throws down the stretch to lock up the 92-80 victory.

Martin scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Bulldogs. He scored 20 or more points one other time this season, netting 20 against Montreat (N.C.) on Jan. 28.

"He's a high-energy guy," Burton said of Martin. "Defensively, he's been really good for us. In the last couple games, he's been very, very effective for us defensively. … He's a good finisher around the rim. He's a good scorer. We've not needed him to score for us, but he certainly has that ability."

Sherman followed with 20 points; the third time in the national tournament he has scored 20 or more in a game. Paul Stone (SR/Danville, Va.) added 17 points, and Newby posted his 17th double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

This marks the first time any Union team has ever advanced to a NAIA championship game in any sport. The men's basketball team joins the women's soccer program (2002) as the only ones to make the Fab Four.