The Union men’s basketball team went down in the first round of the playoffs, ending their season. Facing off against 21-3 Ocracoke, on the road, the Spartans weren’t able to advance, being bested by the Dolphins 68-57.
Though they fell, the Spartans matched the Dolphins’ pace for the entire first quarter. With neither team being able to get the upper hand, the opening period ended in a stalemate at 13-13.
The second quarter is were the visiting Spartans lost control of the game which eventually led to the loss. Being outscored by 14 points Ocracoke offense turned it up before halftime with 18 points. That was the least of their problems, having a complete collapse offensively, only managing four points. With the first half concluded, Union found themselves in a hole, the score 31-17.
They didn’t roll over and hand the Dolphins an easy win, their second half play elevating in both quarters. Finding life again in their offense the Spartans had answers compared to what they did before the break, going for 18. It mattered little, their surge of offense was canceled out as the defense couldn’t slowed down the home team, they went for 22 more.
Then in the final frame Union was the better team coming out on top by seven points. Going for the most they had all night with 22 they won the quarter after holding Ocracoke to 15 points. Unfortunately it was to late as the damage from the previous quarters had been doing which saw Union fall by 11 points.
Season leading scorer Derrick Smith did what he does best though it wasn’t enough this time, he finished with 15. Jaevion Vann was his back up this go around, ending the game behind Smith with 14.
With a first round loss this brought an end to the season for the red and white with a record of 10-14. On the season, the Spartans averaged 55.5 points per game with a field goal percentage of 37 percent. Along with that, they had per-game averages of 33.9 rebounds, 7.9 steals, 7.5 assists and 1.2 blocks.
Reach Michael Hardison at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.