Women’s Basketball rallies past Point to claim No. 2 seed in AAC Tournament
Published 11:08 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022
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CONTRIBUTED BY MILLIGAN ATHLETICS
WEST POINT, GA – After trailing by two points at the half, the Milligan University women’s basketball team outscored Point 22-8 in the third quarter and claimed a 68-54 victory to lock up the No. 2 seed in next week’s Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament.
Milligan rises to 21-7 on the year and 21-2 in conference play. Point falls to 21-6, 17-6 AAC.
The Skyhawks owned a 29-27 lead at the halftime break, but the Buffs opened the second half on an 8-0 run with six points by Halie Padgett and a basket from Jaycie Jenkins.
Milligan caught fire from deep around the midway point of the third quarter as Jenkins, Kristy Galea and Kaylee Hendrickson drained three-point jumpers as part of a 9-2 spurt to put the Buffs ahead 44-35 with 3:18 to play in the third.
A three-point play by Jenkins extended the advantage to 12 (47-35) with two minutes to play in the period and Milligan led 49-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
Padgett and Lauren Longmire scored the first two baskets of the second half to grow Milligan’s lead to 16 (53-37) just over a minute into the third quarter.
Point was able to reduce the margin to a dozen (55-43) with just over six minutes left in regulation, but Galea reeled off eight-straight points for the Buffs with a layup and a pair of three-pointers to go up 18 (63-45) with 3:44 left.
A late push by Point brought the game back to single-digits briefly (63-54) with 2:34 remaining, but the Buffs scored the next five games to seal the 68-54 win.
In the first half, the largest lead enjoyed by either side was a five-point edge for the Skyhawks at 11-6 with four minutes to go in the first half.
Kayla Romines, Madi Runnels and Galea knocked down threes in the final minutes of the half to tie the game at 15 going into the second quarter. Neither team led by more than four points in the second quarter and Point brought a two-point edge into the halftime break (29-27).
Padgett logged her fifth 20-point game of the season as she finished with 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds. Jenkins made all seven of her free throw attempts on her way to 16 points and collected eight rebounds and three steals. Galea matched her career-high with 16 points and was four-of-five from beyond the arc.
As a team, the Buffs shot 50.0 percent from the field, made eight-of-20 threes and was eight-of-nine from the free throw line. Milligan owned a 40-28 rebounding edge on the night.
The Buffs close out their regular season on Saturday at Johnson (Tenn.) and will host a first-round AAC Tournament game on Monday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.