Johnson leads way as Bulldogs best Clermont, 95-87

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College forward Deante Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio) came off the bench and scored a team-high 24 points, pacing the Bulldogs past a pesky UC-Clermont (Ohio) team, 95-87, on Saturday at Robsion Arena in non-conference action.

With the win, Union moved to 13-13 overall on the year, while UC-Clermont fell to 7-23 with the defeat.

In the first period, things were close for the majority of the period, as the game was tied on eight separate occasions throughout the period. The last tie of the half came with 3:37 left at 37-all after a Josh Smith (Corbin, Ky.) three-pointer.

That three kick started a run for the Bulldogs to end the half, as UC went on a 14-2 spurt over the last five minutes of action to take a 45-39 lead into the locker room at intermission. Tyler Wagner (Corbin, Ky.) made the final shot of the half, a three, with four seconds to go to give Union the six point halftime lead.

To start the second half, UC continued to build off the momentum from the end of the first half, opening up their biggest lead of the afternoon at 56-44 with 16 minutes left after another Wagner trey. UC eventually extended the lead out to 15 points (74-59) with 10:58 left, and never looked back the rest of the afternoon.

This didn’t mean that UC-Clermont didn’t make things interesting down the stretch. The Cougars, aided by solid three point shooting, cut the Union lead down to four points (85-81) with 2:34 left.

The Bulldogs, however, staved off the charge, and salted the game away down the stretch at the free throw line to notch the eight point out-of-league victory.

Overall, Johnson, who returned to the Bulldog lineup after sitting out the last six games nursing an injury, came back in style with his 24 point afternoon. Johnson also snatched 11 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season, and had four blocks.

Other top scorers on the day for UC included Archie Adams (Aiken, S.C.), who scored a season-best 22 points, and had nine rebounds, and Wagner, who had 21 points, knocking down seven threes in the process (a career high).

Meanwhile, Smith added 12 points, and Matthew Thomas (New York, N.Y.) chipped in with 11 points. Thomas also dished out a career-best seven assists on the afternoon, as well.

UC-Clermont was led in the loss valiantly by Dwayne Davis, who poured in a game-high 37 points. Davis knocked down 10 threes in the game, and went 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

The Union men's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, jumping back into AAC play when they host Point (Ga.) at Robsion Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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