BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College guard Tarik Smith (Tempe, Ariz.) came off the bench to score 25 points, as the Bulldogs outscored Point (Ga.) 12-5 in the second overtime to pull past the Skyhawks, 82-75, on Wednesday night in Appalachian Athletic Conference action at Robsion Arena.
With the win (UC’s fourth in a row), Union moved to 14-13 overall on the year, 7-8 in the AAC, while Point fell to 18-10, 9-6 in the AAC with the defeat.
In the first half, defense was the name of the game on both sides, as UC held a slim 28-23 lead at intermission. The Bulldogs ended the half on a flurry, going on a 12-7 run in the final seven minutes to open up a tie ballgame (16-16).
To start the second half, UC continued to hold the lead, and was still up by five (35-30) with 14:33 left. Here, Point went on a big run that almost put the Bulldogs away, going on 19-8 spurt over a six minute span to open their biggest lead of the night at 49-43 with eight minutes left.
But, Union came back, cutting the deficit to a single point three separate times over the next seven minutes. They, however, could not take the lead or even tie the game. The Bulldogs finally cracked the barrier with 59 seconds left, after Tyler Wagner (Corbin, Ky.) drained a jumper to tie things up at 60-60.
Point took the lead back on their next possession on a jumper, setting the stage for Union to send the game to overtime on their final possession of regulation.
The Bulldogs succeeded, as Deante Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio) converted on an easy lay-in after taking a pass from Matthew Thomas (New York, N.Y.) with eight seconds left, tying the game at 62-62. Point turned it over on their final possession, and the game headed to overtime.
In the first overtime, Point scored the first four points to take a 66-62 lead. But, once again, the Bulldogs fought back, tying the game for the 10th time (66-66) after Thomas nailed two free throws with 47 seconds left. On Point’s next possession, Smith forced a turnover, and raced all the way down the court to score in transition to give UC a 68-66 lead with 29 seconds left.
However, just as fast as Smith scored, Point answered furiously, as Timothy Mitchell slammed home the game-tying basket (68-68) mere seconds later after receiving a pass from half-court. On the final possession of the first OT, Thomas just missed a three that would’ve won it, and the game went to a second overtime.
Finally, in the second overtime, the Bulldogs put Point away. With 2:02 left and the game tied at 72-all, Johnson made a jumper in the lane to give UC a 74-72. In the process, Johnson forced a huge fifth foul on Point’s Mitchell, fouling the forward out of the contest.
On Point’s next possession, the Bulldogs forced a missed shot and collected a rebound. From there, the Bulldogs clinched the game with some clutch free throw shooting.
In the final minute and a half, UC went 8-of-10 from the charity stripe to salt the game away, collecting a huge double overtime conference win in the process.
Overall, Smith led the Bulldogs with his 25-point effort. He also snatched six rebounds, and recorded a season-high six assists. Other double-digit scorers on the night for UC included Johnson, who notched his sixth double-double of the year with 14 points and 12 ‘boards, while Thomas and Wagner scored 10 points, apiece. Thomas also dished out six assists on the night, as well.
Point was led in a losing effort by Mitchell, who scored a game-high 31 points, while pulling down 11 rebounds to record a double-double.
The Union men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, hosting Bryan (Tenn.) in the final regular season game of the 2012-13 season. The game, which will also be the program’s annual senior day, begins at 4 p.m.