Buffs roll over Bulldogs

Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Both Milligan University basketball teams are looking to play their best ball as the Appalachian Athletic Conference kicks off at the end of this month. Tuesday night’s games against Tennessee Wesleyan may have served notice that they are not going to be an easy out. For the men, they have now won four out of the last five games and are back above .500 for the first time since November. For the Lady Buffs, the win keeps them within striking distance of the top two teams in their conference.

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Men’s: Milligan 90, Tennessee Wesleyan 75

The men’s team jumped out to an early 16-4 lead after a Follie Bogan 3-pointer and then cruised past the visiting Bulldogs. In the process, Milligan grabbed a season sweep over the Bulldogs. Just as the Bulldogs closed the lead to 8 points, Sam Gold rattled in a 3-pointer to start an 11-0 run as the Buffs pushed the lead out to 27-8. Bogan hit on his first four 3-pointers as the Buffs led 52-28 going into the locker room.

Milligan maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half before an 11-0 run by the Bulldogs closed the game to 71-63 with 8 minutes left. Just as they threatened to make a game out of it, Milligan slammed the door shut on any comeback attempt. Jay Hickman hit a 3-pointer from the left side and Lincoln Thomae hit McCaskill Rivers on a long outlet pass for a layup to push the lead back out to 12. Hickman hit another 3-pointer with just 4 minutes left, and Bogan hit his free throws as the clock ticked away to post the 15-point win. Bogan finished the night with 35 points, including five 3-pointers. He also led the team with 8 rebounds, while Hickman finished with 13 and Rivers chipped in 11. The Buffs forced 15 turnovers in the game.

Women’s: Milligan 75, Tennessee Wesleyan 48

Like the Men’s game, the Lady Buffs jumped out early and never looked back. Jaycie Jenkins and Madi Runnels hit big 3-pointers as the Lady Buffs jumped out to a 14-0 lead; they would extend their lead to 22 after Madi Runnels hit an acrobatic layup with 5:18 left in the 2nd period (34-12). At the halftime break, they led by a 41-26 count. Jenkins’ 10 points in the half helped pave the way to the early lead.

The Lady Buffs continued to roll as they outscored the Lady Bulldogs 24-11 in the third quarter, with Semaj Clark getting hot and scoring six points in the period. The Buffs would cruise the rest of the way, leading by as many as 30 points before walking off the court with the 27-point win. Jenkins led the way with 19 points, and Clark finished with 13, while Halie Padgett added 11 with 4 rebounds. Former EHS Lady Cyclone Lina Lyons led the teams in assists with 4. The Lady Buffs outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 52-36 and held them to just 26% shooting on the night.

Both teams will travel to Columbia, South Carolina, on Thursday to take on the Koalas; tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 pm.