Barbourville, KY- The St. Andrews University men's basketball team fell just short in their bid to upset the top two teams in the AAC on Saturday as they fell 52-49 to the Union College (Ky.) Bulldogs.
Union, who were receiving votes in the latest top 25 NAIA poll, improved to 11-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference with the victory. Union got off to a good start in this one racing out to a 17-6 lead in the first half before the Knights rallied to trim the deficit to just seven at the break, 31-24.
St. Andrews would then step up their defense in the second half as they held Union to just 31% shooting and only 21 points. Union was only 1 of 9 from 3 point-range in the second half and just 5 of 22 overall while the Knights shot 44% from three in half number 2.
SAU was able to gain the lead for the only time today as they led by 2 with 10 minutes to go in the second half. However Union would rally to regain the lead and St. Andrews then went cold in the final few minutes and could not tie the ballgame. The Knights had two good looks at tying threes in the final few seconds, one by freshman guard Titus Gary and the other by sophomore Jamal Watson but both clanked off the rim.
Junior guard Aaron Smith led the Knights with 15 points including two three-pointers along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists while junior forward Marko Zjacic had 12 points and 7 rebounds along with a team-leading 4 assists and 2 steals. Freshman forward Nathaniel Pittman led with 8 rebounds as well.
St. Andrews falls to 2-8 overall and 1-6 in the conference with the loss and will next return home to host struggling Truett-McConnell College (0-15) on Wednesday at 7:30 pm inside Harris Court.