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Union closes out regular season with 78-58 AAC win

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union used a late first-half rally to seize control and never looked back as the Bulldogs registered a 78-58 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over visiting Bryan (Tenn.) on Saturday.

With the victory, Union finishes the regular-season 15-13 overall and 8-8 in conference play, while Bryan is 13-15 overall and 9-7 in the AAC.

Up next for the Bulldogs is the AAC Tournament, which begins Wednesday at the MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn. The seedings and bracket will be announced on Sunday.

Union led for much of the first half, but found itself down 36-29 following an 8-0 run by Bryan. Robert Troino drained two 3-pointers during the Lion rally as the visitors built the seven-point cushion with 4:58 to go in the half.

The Bulldogs responded with a 14-0 run to closed out the period to seize a 43-36 halftime lead. Union continued to roll as the second half unfolded, opening on a 15-6 surge to build a 58-42 advantage with 13:36 to play. Josh Smith scored six points during the rally.

From that point on, Bryan never threatened as Union's lead grew to as much as 21 points en route to the 78-58 decision.

Deante Johnson recorded his seventh double-double of the season as he led Union with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Smith and Tyler Wagner followed with 13 points apiece, while Archie Adams added 11 points and nine rebounds.

For Bryan, Derrick Walker set the tone with 16 points and nine rebounds with Troino contributing 14 points as he went 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Prior to the game, Union recognized and honored its two senior players - Smith and James Strange, as they played their final home game in their career.


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