KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The clock struck midnight for this year’s Cinderella team Thursday afternoon as the University of Science and Arts fell behind early and lost to Union, Tenn., 82-63 in the first round of the national tournament.
The Drovers, who won their way into the tournament as the No. 7 seed in the SAC tournament, matched the third-seeded Bulldogs’ 13 field goals in the first half, but Union’s eight 3-pointers helped them to a 43-28 halftime advantage. USAO put Union on the free throw line 12 times in the first half, while the Drovers shot zero free throws in the first half and only six for the game.
Adam Shoffit paced the Drovers with 19 points including four 3-pointers. The “big three” of Tim Nelson, Jamaal McCoy and Allen Harris for USAO combined for only 16 points and 5-for-28 from the floor. The rest of the team combined for 21-of-39 from the floor.
Junior guard Calen Parks came off the bench to score eight points on 4-of-5 shooting while Eli Flores and Sheldon Stoker scored six points a piece.
Union’s Brian Luke tied Shoffit for game-high honors with 19 points. Greg Truvillion and Matt Neaville added 17 points each. Union moves on to face the winner of the Columbia/Lee game in the second round while the season ends for USAO with a 15-18 record.