Milligan basketball alumni watch Buffs top Point University 58-49

Published 7:44 pm Saturday, January 17, 2015

MILLIGAN COLLEGE (Jan. 17, 2015) — Over 20 former Buffs were sent home with smiles on their faces after the Milligan College men’s basketball team defeated Point University 58-49 to cap off a men’s basketball reunion weekend Saturday evening at the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.

The reunion weekend was primarily a celebration of former head coach and 2002 Milligan Hall of Fame inductee Phil Worrell. Coach Worrell led the Milligan men’s basketball program for 13 seasons beginning in 1969 and took the Buffaloes to eight straight winning seasons and back-to-back conference titles. Others attendees included Worrell’s former players and managers.

Milligan (13-5, 8-2 AAC) saw a 21-point second-half lead trimmed to two with less than three minutes to go but scored the last seven points en route to the win. Point dropped its record to 1-20 (0-10 AAC). The second-place Buffaloes closed to within half a game of AAC leader Union College, which plays third-place Truett McConnell College at home later this evening.

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Julian Bailey led the Buffs with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting and made 4-of-4 free throws in the last minute and a half which helped ensure the win. Leading up to that point, the Skyhawks had taken advantage of a 20-2 run over nine minutes to cut Milligan’s lead to 51-49. Chris Ellis had the only bucket for the Buffs during that stretch as Milligan was held to 1-for-10 from the floor over the last 12-plus minutes. It was finally Ellis in the end, with 2:46 left who made the first of two free throws to end the scoring drought.

Milligan’s defense was firing on all cylinders in the first half, limiting the Skyhawks to nine points over the first 20 minutes and forcing them into 17 turnovers without an assist. The Buffs, who rank No. 12 in the nation in 3-point defense at 39.9 percent, held Point to 28.8 percent (15-52) in 40 minutes tonight. Additionally, the Buffs rank No. 4 in the nation in field goal defense and held Point to 4-of-24 (16.7%).

Mickey Woods was one of a few starters to battle through foul trouble in the second half and finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Morgan McLeod, who fouled out with 3:56 left, scored four points.

For Point, Jonathan Manning and Seth Houston scored 13 apiece, and Charles Brown registered a game high eight rebounds.

Milligan will be back home for a nonconference game against Allen University on Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. before hitting the road for a two-game road swing next Wednesday and Saturday.