Brooks’ career night leads men’s basketball to win in AAC quarters

Published 11:25 am Friday, February 27, 2015

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Feb. 26, 2015) – Kurt Brooks made five 3-pointers and finished with a career high 22 points to help the Milligan College men’s basketball team avenge a late-season loss with a 63-52 victory over Bluefield College in the quarterfinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament Thursday night.

Milligan (19-9, 12-6 AAC) will play Tennessee Wesleyan CollegeFriday night at 8 p.m. in the semifinals following a women’s matchup with Union College which is set to start at 4 p.m. This season, the Buffs won both meetings against TWC, by four at home and by 14 on the road.

Brooks missed only twice from 3-point range, the first of which was on a heave late in the first half before the buzzer sounded. His only other miss came on the other side of the halftime break on Milligan’s opening possession of the second half. In the meantime, he made his first four, including one during a 9-0 run where Milligan pulled ahead by double figures in the first half, and another at the end of a 10-2 run early in the second half which put the Buffs up by 21.

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Brooks’ previous career high was 21, a mark he achieved in a runaway victory over Montreat in January. He was 7-for-12 from the floor and 5-of-7 from 3-point range and added seven rebounds and a steal.

Mickey Woods finished right on Brooks’ heals with 21 points, six assists and four rebounds. Woods had nine at the halftime break before taking over the first few minutes of the second half. With the Buffs leading 34-21, Woods opened the second-half scoring on a made jumper from the baseline despite having a defender force him to double clutch. On Milligan’s next possession, he sliced through the lane and converted an old-fashioned 3-point play. The next time down, he drove and dished to Julian Bailey for an easy layup as Milligan completed a quick 7-0 run to open the half.

Brooks’ last 3-pointer answered two Bluefield free throws at the other end, completing the 10-2 run which gave Milligan a 44-23 lead, its largest of the game until that point, with under 15 minutes left.

Bluefield (12-14, 8-10 AAC) tried to make it interesting late in the game, using a 12-1 run to get it back to 10 with two and a half minutes left, but Milligan had the answer at every turn. Milligan’s lead never dropped below 10 beyond the two-minute mark of the first half.

Bailey, an All-Conference second-team selection at last night’s awards banquet, finished with seven points and six rebounds. Chris Ellis and Morgan McLeod had four apiece.

For Bluefield, Kyle Grisby and Joseph McLain led the Rams with 11 points apiece. Devin Page had nine points and 10 rebounds.

In Milligan’s semifinal matchup against Tennessee Wesleyan, the Buffaloes will need to beat the Bulldogs for the third time this season. A victory would put them into the conference tournament title game, scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. Union and Reinhardt play Friday at 6 p.m. in the other semifinal game.