|Feb. 17, 2016|
|Milligan (Tenn.)||Indv. Leaders||Bryan College|
|#12 Kurt Brooks - 25||Points||#00 Brandon Cole - 34|
|#14 Julian Bailey - 9||Rebounds||#00 Brandon Cole - 9|
|#11 Cole Anderson - 8||Assists||3 Players - 4|
|Milligan (Tenn.)||Team Statistics||Bryan College|
|46.6% (34 - 73)||Field Goals %||58.6% (34 - 58)|
|38.2% (13 - 34)||3 Point Field Goals %||44.4% (8 - 18)|
|88.9% (8 - 9)||Free Throws||76.9% (20 - 26)|
|14||2nd Chance Pts||8|
Dayton, Tenn. – A packed-out crowd filled Summers Gymnasium last night, Feb. 17, to cheer the Bryan Lions Men's Basketball team to victory over fellow AAC school, Milligan College (Tenn.), 96-89, and watched as seniors Brandon Cole (SR/Crossville, Tenn.), Robert Troino (SR/Crossville, Tenn.), and Jeff Long (SR/Hendersonville, Tenn.) suited up and hit the hardwood for the last time on Bryan Hill.
It was a memorable night as previous high school teammates from Stone Memorial High School in Crossville, Tenn., Cole, Troino, and Yoder, each scored double-digits for the Lions. Cole led the way with a remarkable 34 points on 14-of-20 shooting. It was Cole's 14th 30-point game this season, and he corralled a team-high nine rebounds. Troino recorded his second highest scoring game of the year by dropping 23 points on 7-of-8 shooting (3-for-4 behind the arc and 6-for-7 from foul line), while also grabbing four boards, three assists, and two steals. Yoder scored 13 points, going 5-for-12, and aided with four rebounds and four assists.
Long and Appalachian Athletic Conference assists leader, Oteriah Lee (SO/Knoxville, Tenn.), both registered eight points and four assists, respectively. Brice Cusick (SO/Jefferson City, Tenn.) chipped in five points (2-for-5) and three assists, while Reagan Johnson (SO/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) wrapped up the only other scoring from Bryan with five points (2-for-5).
Despite Bryan shooting the ball incredibly well in the first half (57.1 percent and 44.4 percent from deep), Milligan managed to hold a 46-41 advantage at the halftime break after firing 54.5 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from three-point territory. The Lions were able to control the Buffaloes shooting in the second half, holding them to 40.0 percent in the field and 27.3 percent (6-for-22) from the three-point line. Bryan improved their percentage to 60.0 percent in the latter half and hit 4-for-9 from deep (44.4 percent). Milligan topped Bryan in the rebounding battle by a narrow margin, 33-31.
Cole made a presence early in the game, using his extraordinary positioning in the paint to put the Lions up 11-7 as the first half unfolded. Milligan kept it a one-score game until the 9:21 minute mark when Troino scored a quick bucket and was followed by a three-pointer from Long, extending Bryan's lead to six points, 25-19. Before the Lions could move the offense, the Buffaloes slowed any momentum with a 7-0 run to regain a 26-25 lead.
The game continued to stay close as both teams took turns swapping made baskets, but two made free throws from Lee with 3:09 left to play in the first half gave Bryan hope to clench a lead and carry it into the break. Milligan countered with back-to-back triples, which created separation that Bryan could not make up. The Buffs controlled a 46-41 heading into the second half.
Milligan struck early out of the gate with a trey to go ahead by eight points, 49-41. Eight straight points involving an inside bucket from Cole, three-pointer from Troino, and three-pointer from Yoder helped level the score out, 49-49. Over the next seven minutes, six lead changes took place with the last one coming Bryan's way. Down 59-58, the Lions rallied for a 10-0 run to establish a lead that was not surrender for the duration of the game.
The Buffaloes kept the Lions on their toes with a made basket in under a minute left of play to cut Bryan's lead to five points, 92-87. The next four points came from Troino who made four consecutive free throws, taking any chance away from a Milligan comeback. Bryan improved their overall record to 13-13 and 8-9 in conference play with the 96-89 victory. Milligan drops to 15-10 overall and 10-8 in AAC action.
After a hard-fought conference win to cap-off their Senior Night, the Lions look to end their regular season with another AAC win at Truett-McConnell (Ga.) on Saturday, Feb. 20, with tipoff set for 4pm. The conference tournament is set for next week beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24.