Dayton, Tenn. – The Milligan University women’s basketball team fell short in a visiting Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) matchup with No. 14 Bryan College 84-68 on Saturday afternoon.
In a battle for first place in the AAC, Bryan remained at the top spot with a victory over the second-place Buffs.
Milligan moves to 13-7 (13-2 AAC) on the year while Bryan remains undefeated with a 22-0 (17-0 AAC) record heading into the final month of regular-season play.
Two 6-0 runs by Bryan in the first quarter gave the Lions a 22-13 lead through the first ten minutes of action. The Buffs had a difficult time getting into a rhythm offensively shooting five-of-17 from the field and one-of-six from behind the arc.
Bryan found success working the ball inside outscoring Milligan 14-8 in the paint as they took a nine-point advantage into the second. The shooting woes continued for the Buffs in the second as they shot just 29 percent from the field compared to 50 percent from the Lions.
Lily Griffith led Milligan in both points and rebounds (8pts, 4r) at the break going two-of-five from the field, two-of-two from the three-point line, and two-of-two from the charity stripe.
Bryan closed the second quarter on a 10-3 run to increase their lead to 14 (41-27) heading into the second half.
The third quarter began with Bryan scoring ten of the first 12 points as Milligan’s offensive struggles continued. The Buffs shot 16 percent from the floor and scored just seven points as Bryan boosted their lead to 25 (59-34) with one quarter left to play.
The plus-eight advantage on the glass (33-25) through three quarters was substantial for the Lions in terms of widening the scoring gap going into the fourth.
The lid finally came off the basket for Milligan in the fourth as they scored 34 points on 75 percent shooting (12-of-16) over the final ten minutes of play.
However, the Lions’ lead proved to be too much for the Buffs as they were unable to mount a comeback despite their excellent fourth quarter play.
Bryan won the game by 16 points (84-68) and one major factor was paint points as the Lions’ outscored Milligan 42-26 in that area.
Griffith led the Buffs in scoring on the day finishing with 21 points on seven-of-13 from the floor and five-of-six from three in addition to pulling down six rebounds.
Halie Padgett added 17 points on eight-of-13 from the floor with 11 of Padgett’s 17 coming in the fourth quarter. Jaycie Jenkins led Milligan in rebounds coming away with seven to go along with nine points and five assists.
Milligan returns to the court on Tuesday with a road AAC matchup at Columbia (S.C.) at 5:30 p.m.