Union hosted Wallace Rose Hill Tuesday evening, and defeated the Bulldogs 73-61. Union’s defensive intensity controlled the game early, and their offensive efficiency was also key.
Union turned the Bulldogs over early in the first quarter, and used open lay-ups and short-range jump shots to build a 20-7 lead after the opening quarter of play.
Natrone Banks’s ability to get to the basket and set up other players continued to give the Bulldogs trouble in the second quarter. Everybody was getting involved offensively and defensively for the Spartans, and they were having a blast playing together in the first half and throughout the game. Union led 39-20 at halftime.
The third was Union’s least effective quarter, as they allowed the Bulldogs to cut the deficit to 10, 49-39. This was attributed to shots not falling for Union that were falling in the first half, and some poor decisions when passing the ball on the offensive end of the floor.
Union stretched their lead back out in the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer from the right wing by Baysean Washington with 1:16 to go gave the Spartans an 8-point cushion. Banks, Washington, Desmond Faison, and Damarius Davis made the critical free throws down the stretch, and Union finished off the Bulldogs with a 12- point victory.
“We were really good defensively, I mean really good” said Union head coach Tim Pope. “We were very efficient offensively in the first half, and did a good job converting on our free throws late in the game. I thought Baysean Washington was really big for us tonight scoring 10 points off the bench when Bandon Lovette got into some foul trouble. That was a big win for us there, a really big win for us, and I’m pleased with the way our guys competed tonight” Pope finished.
Banks led the way again for the Spartans, with 18 points and 6 assists. Damarius Davis added 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Desmond Faison scored 14 points. Washington brought a huge burst of energy off the bench for the Spartans scoring 10 points and playing good defense.