Buffs take two from Bluefield in home opener

Published 8:07 am Friday, November 10, 2023

By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Milligan University had its home opener Wednesday night and for their men’s and women’s teams, which are looking to build early-season momentum things couldn’t have gone better. Both teams were able to get their younger player minutes and both teams got conference wins.

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Women’s- Millgan U 110 Bluefield 54

The Lady Buffs rolled to an easy win as they jumped out early and kept piling it on. Milligan scored the first seven points in the contest and then went up 17-4 in the first 4:30 minutes. They shot a blazing 56% as a team from the field in the contest. They would pad their lead even more in the 2nd period pushing out to a 40-14 lead. McKenna Myers would go 3-4 from beyond the arc in the game; in addition, 10 different Milligan players scored in the game.

The Lady Buffs shot past the century mark with 3 minutes left in the game, something they haven’t done since 2020. Halie Padget led Milligan with 19 points and 8 rebounds while Myers chipped in 16 and Jayci Jenkins had 15. Former Elizabethton High School standout Lina Lyons came off the bench and had 10 points playing 15 minutes while shooting 5-8 from the floor. There were a number of Elizabethton faithful in attendance and Lyons talked about what her first college home game felt like “I felt honored to get on the floor, I was kind of stressed my first few minutes on the court but this team is so encouraging, I love the fact that there were a lot of folks from Elizabethton tonight here following us. I’m glad they are here to watch us play it means a lot” Lyons shared. The Lady Buffs improved to 3-1 in the young season 1-0 in the conference.

Men’s- Milligan U 82 Bluefield 81

A back-and-forth contest was not settled until the buzzer as Lincoln Thomae drained a 3-pointer with one second left to give Milligan the one-point win. The two teams would trade leads throughout the contest as the Rams would jump to an early 14-6 lead, but 3-pointers by Luke Lentz and Sam Gold would tie the game up with 12:50 left in the first half.  A thunderous dunk by a McCaskill Rivers would bring the crowd to their feet and give Milligan a 25-22 lead an edge they would take to the locker room up 43-38 at the half.

The two teams would continue their see-saw play; Milligan would jump out to a nine-point lead early in the half only for the Rams to storm back. Neither team would be able to distance them by more than six points throughout the final 10 minutes. In the final seconds, the Rams would hit a layup off a putback to set up the last-second heroics. Flynn Carlson would grab a loose ball and find Thomae on the right wing who would drain the three. Folie Bogan would lead all scorers with 29 points and nine rebounds while McCaskill added 20 from the floor. Milligan would get 29 points from their bench. Both the Milligan Men’s and Women’s teams will travel to Pikeville on Saturday, the women tip off at 2 pm while the men are slotted for a 4 pm start.