Milligan rolls past Bluefield for fourth straight win

Published 9:01 am Monday, January 14, 2019

Aaron Levarity led all scorers with 21 and the Milligan College men’s basketball team led wire to wire in an 81-69 victory over fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference member Bluefield College Thursday night inside Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.

With the win, the Buffaloes improved to 10-5 overall and 6-4 in AAC play, while the Rams fell to 11-6 and 6-5 in conference play. Milligan has now won five straight home games against Bluefield and have taken five of the last seven contests overall.

The Buffs blitzed the Rams right out of the gate scoring the first 11 points of the contest before Bluefield finally got on the board at the 16:14 mark. Tyler Nichols jumpstarted the run with a 3-pointer and Levarity capped it off with an and-one.

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Throughout the remainder of the half, Milligan would put together runs of 9-0, 4-0 and 8-0 to head into the halftime break with a 50-23 lead.

The Buffs used suffocating defense in the first half forcing tough shots by the Rams and caused 11 turnovers. Bluefield was only able to manage eight made field goals before intermission and only assisted on one of the made baskets. The Rams also went through stretches where they were held without a field goal for 3:46 and 6:20.

Offensively, the Buffs were on fire in the first half draining 9-of-16 threes and played great team basketball as they assisted on 15 of the 19 makes.

Milligan continued to pile on early in the second half with more ball movement and spacing building the lead to as large as 35 points on a Mike Featherston layup with 15:42 remaining. Bluefield outscored the Buffs 39-16 the rest of the way with most of the Milligan starters on the bench, to make the final score 81-69.


Levarity hauled in seven rebounds to go along with his 21 points and added three assists and three blocks. The senior was efficient on the night finishing 7-of-11 from the field, 1-1 from three and 6-of-6 from the foul line.

Tyler Faulkenberry provided a nice spark off the bench netting all 15 of his points in the first half and finished the game 5-of-10 from three. Jacob Cawood followed in the scoring column finishing with 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. The redshirt junior has been on a tear of late netting 45 points in Milligan’s last three contests.

Bo Pless contributed nine points on the evening, while Tyler Nichols and Desean Green chipped in eight and seven respectively. Green led the team in assists with five and was a menace on the defensive end racking up a team-high three steals.

Featherston (five points, three assists), Nathan Hastings (two points), Chase Phillips (two points) and Paul Arrowood (one point) rounded out the Buffs offensively.

Phillips played a season high 16 minutes and was very active on the defensive end for Milligan sticking his hand in the passing lanes and disrupting the Bluefield offense.

The Buffs finished the night shooting 45.5 percent from the field and finished 10-of-24 from distance. Milligan assisted on 21 of the 30 makes and collected four blocks and 10 steals.

Defensively it was another strong effort from one of the stingiest defenses in the nation as they held the Rams to 37.9 percent shooting and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Milligan ranks No. 3 nationally in 3-point field goal defense and No. 10 in field goal defense.

The Rams were led by Ty’quon Reid with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Niquan Cousins and Jorge Concepcion followed with 14 and 12 respectively.


Milligan closes out their quick two-game homestand Saturday, Jan. 12, against AAC member Tennessee Wesleyan at approximately 4 p.m.