|Jan. 5, 2017|
|Milligan (Tenn.)||Indv. Leaders||Bryan College|
|#22 Lindsee Price - 13||Points||#34 Amber Levi - 17|
|#24 Sarah Robinson - 10||Rebounds||#21 Erisha Talley - 10|
|#10 Kelly Barnett - 2||Assists||#42 Tonesha Allison - 2|
|Milligan (Tenn.)||Team Statistics||Bryan College|
|28.8% (19 - 66)||Field Goals %||31% (18 - 58)|
|10.5% (2 - 19)||3 Point Field Goals %||50% (5 - 10)|
|90.9% (10 - 11)||Free Throws||62.5% (10 - 16)|
|2||2nd Chance Pts||10|
Dayton, Tenn. – After a 1-4 start in Appalachian Athletic Conference play to begin the season, the Bryan Lions Women's Basketball team have turned the corner and battled their way to a four-game win streak against fellow AAC opponents, including a momentous upset at home Thursday night versus the No. 23 team in the NAIA, the Buffaloes of Milligan College (Tenn.) in a close 51-50 final. A remarkable feat of the Lions was their ability to hold the high-scoring Buffaloes to a struggling 28.8 percent shooting for the game and a mere 2-of-19 from behind the arc. Milligan bettered Bryan in turnovers, forcing the Lions to 20 compared to their 8, but the home team made up on the boards, outrebounding the Buffaloes 48-32.
The win improves Bryan's overall record to 7-8 and conference record to 5-4, while Milligan drops to 11-6 overall and 7-2 in AAC action.
Amber Levi (SO/Dayton, Tenn.) pieced together another notable performance as Bryan's scoring leader with 17 points, shooting 5-of-9 for the game, 4-of-6 from deep, and 3-of-6 at the foul line. She also aided in rebounds with eight. Erisha Talley (SR/Alexandria, Va.) registered her first career double-double as she shot 6-of-18 for 13 points and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds. Tonesha Allison (SO/Shelbyville, Tenn.) led the Lions in the assists column with two, as well as scoring five points and grabbing four boards. Megan Billingsby (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) chipped in seven points and nine rebounds, Keniesha Love (FR/Pulaski, Tenn.) followed with four points and seven rebounds, and Kaylee Smith (SO/Dunlap, Tenn.) finished with two points and six rebounds. Tristan McClellan (FR/Byrdstown, Tenn.) only had three points, but her lone three-pointer was a difference maker as it closed the gap and gained momentum for the Lions to take their first lead with under one minute to play that sealed the game.
Milligan got out to an 11-5 lead to begin the game, but free throws from Billingsby and Levi along with a basket in the paint by Levi cut the deficit to three points, 13-10 with one minute to go in the first quarter. Two made foul shots by the Buffaloes gave Milligan a 15-10 edge heading into the second quarter.
The Buffaloes were the first to strike as the second period got underway, but the Lions responded with back-to-back makes from downtown by Levi to pull within one point, 17-16. Unfortunately Bryan would continue without ever seeing a lead as the first half came to a close. Buckets by Talley and Love slimmed the margin to two points near the end of the first half, but Milligan would get the last look before the break to go ahead 27-23.
Milligan connected from behind the arc to start the third quarter, matching their largest lead of the game at seven points, 30-23. Bryan slowly cut the lead down to a one-score difference midway through the period, 34-33. Both teams were unable to make any headway as each side took turns scoring. Billingsby and Smith each drained a shot to come within one-point of the Buffaloes, but it was a three-pointer by Levi with one minute on the clock for the Lion's first tie of the game, 40-40. Milligan countered on the other end for a quick score to take a 42-40 advantage into the final quarter.
The Lions would hold the Buffaloes to eight points in the fourth quarter, while scoring 11 for a come-from-behind last second win. At the 2:11 mark, Milligan completed an and-one play after driving the lane and drawing the foul. The made free throw put the Buffaloes on top 45-50. Bryan managed to hang with Milligan despite coming up empty on several chances at the foul line. After the three-point play, Bryan's next possession ended with Levi driving and kicking out to McClellan who tallied her lone basket of the game from deep to make it a two-point ballgame, 50-48, with just under two minutes to go. The Lions came up with a key defensive stop, which resulted in Levi corralling a miss and being fouled. Levi sank one free throw, bringing the score to 50-49 with a minute and a half on the clock. The Buffaloes went to Allison's man, and the Lion prevailed with a huge stop and rebound. She was fouled and sent to the free throw line, which ended up being the winning shots as she hit the pair for Bryan's first lead of the game and final score, 51-50. The Buffaloes had two more looks in the final seconds of the game, but Milligan couldn't capitalize as the Lions earned the upset.
"I'm really proud of our girls tonight overcoming a tough start to the season to beat a really good team," said Bryan Head Coach, Jason Smith. "Our defensive effort the last two games has been at its best. Holding Milligan to 50 points is an above average performance. Amber has been consistent night-in and night-out, and Erisha gave us a big lift. Megan had a solid second half, but the play of the night was Tristan stepping up with a big time three late in the game. Hopefully we can keep the momentum flowing!"
The Lions hit the road this weekend to faceoff against conference foe Montreat College (N.C.) on Saturday, Jan. 7, with tipoff set for 2pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Women's Basketball schedule, click here.