Reinhardt Hangs On to Beat UC, 65-61, in AAC Opener

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. -- Union College's Brent Cork scored a game-high 20 points, but it wasn’t enough, as Reinhardt held on down the the stretch to defeat the Bulldogs, 65-61, at Robsion Arena on Saturday evening. The game was the 2011-12 AAC opener for both teams.

With the loss, Union fell to 3-6 on the season, 0-1 in the AAC, while Reinhardt improved to 5-1 on the year, and 1-0 in the AAC with the victory.

In the first period, the game was a nip and tuck affair throughout the first seven minutes, but the Bulldogs eventually went on a run to go up 15-9 with 10:50 left in the half after a James Strange (Pineville, Ky.) three-pointer. Union continued to play aggressive throughout the half, eventually extending their lead out to 28-17 after a Cork (Saginaw, Mich.) lay-in with 4:47 left.

Reinhardt, however, rolled over the final four minutes of the half, going on a 14-4 run to cut the Union lead all the way down to 32-31 as the teams went into the locker room for halftime.

The Eagles continued their run right from the start in the second half, taking the lead back after a Luke Joseph dunk with 18:57 left (33-32). For the next couple of minutes, the lead went back and forth, with Reinhardt eventually taking a 46-42 lead with 13:51 left on a David Lawson three-pointer.

Union tied the game back up with 12:30 left at 49 apiece after a Cork jumper, but Reinhardt once again went on a scoring run (11-2) to take a 60-51 lead with 7:18 left. UC, however, did not give up, and went on a 9-0 run that got the Reinhardt lead down to 60-59 with 3:27 left. The run was punctuated by a Cork lay-in.

The game continued to remain close as it went into the final minute, and after a Josh Hurd (Independence, Ky.) lay-in with 43 second left, Reinhardt clinged to a 63-61 lead. Reinhardt then turned it over on their end, giving Union a chance to either tie the game or win it in the final seconds. The Bulldogs, however, failed to execute, as Hurd missed a layup with seven seconds left, as the Eagles pulled down the defensive rebound to take possession back.

Reinhardt’s Larricus Thomas then clinched the game at the charity stripe, sinking two free throws after being fouled with four seconds left, as the Eagles hung on for the four-point conference win on the road.

Overall, Cork had 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor. He also pulled down five rebounds, and dished out three assists. The other double-digit scorer on the night for Union was Hurd, who has 14 points, snatching eight rebounds as well. For Reinhardt, Tareek Roach led the way, scoring 18 points to lead four double-digit scorers for the Eagles.

Union returns to action on Monday when they travel to Alice Lloyd for an out-of-conference tilt. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.


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