Union Wins Sig Makofski Title over Westfield State to Remain Undefeated

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Junior Jackson Mannix netted a team-high 23 points to earn Most Valuable Player honors as the Union College men's basketball team captured the 34th annual Sig Makofski Invitational title with a 73-67 win over Westfield State University in a hard-fought battle on Sunday afternoon at Viniar Athletic Center.
Mannix had another big game for Union (3-0), which is 3-0 for the first time since 2014. The junior scored 12 of his 23 points in the second half as the Dutchmen came back to win. He was joined on the All-Tournament team by freshman Mike Concannon, who chipped in eight points, a team-high six rebounds and five assists on the day. Senior Brendan Laing also netted 12 points and five boards in 23 minutes of action as well to help the home cause.
Westfield State was bidding to become the tournament's first repeat winner since Union won three in a row from 2003-05, but Union was not to be denied on the day. The Dutchmen shot 49.0 percent (25 of 51) from the field and led 10-4 in three-pointers made, while the home team clinched the game with a 13-for-15 effort (81.3 percent) from the charity stripe.
The first half featured 10 lead changes between the two very evenly matched squads, with no advantage more than five points. That deficit came with 14:24 to go in the half on a three from sophomore Nate Freeman that put the score at 12-7. The final lead change of the half came with a pair of free throws from Laing with 61 seconds left that gave Union a 35-34 edge at intermission.
Westfield State scored the first six points of the second half to take a 40-35 lead, its largest of the game. The Owls maintained their advantage until a three from Mannix and a layup by sophomore Andrew Laubgave Union a 47-46 lead with 13:55 remaining.
The Dutchmen never trailed the rest of the way, building up a lead of as many as eight points (66-58) on a pair of Laing freebies with 4:26 remaining. WSU responded with seven straight points to get within one with 2:10 left, but Union sealed the win by going 7-of-8 from the line in the final minute, with Laub, Freeman and Laing all sinking a pair during the stretch.
In addition to Mannix and Concannon, Marcus Collins (Westfield State), Tank Roberson (Castleton) and Kevin Love (NVU-Lyndon) were named to the All-Tournament team as well. Castleton took third place this weekend with an 89-73 victory over Northern Vermont-Lyndon in Sunday's consolation game.
Union will take its undefeated record into the start of Liberty League play next weekend, beginning with a big early-season clash with preseason favorite Hobart College on Friday at 7 p.m. in Geneva.