|Bryan (Tenn.) 13-14, 11-10 AAC||9||13||23||23||68|
|Milligan (Tenn.) 21-8, 17-4 AAC||26||12||23||19||80|
|Feb. 15, 2017|
|Milligan College, TN|
|Bryan (Tenn.)||Indv. Leaders||Milligan (Tenn.)|
|#34 Amber Levi - 27||Points||#01 Hayley Wyrick - 23|
|#44 Megan Billingsby - 7||Rebounds||#33 Mackenzie Raizor - 10|
|#34 Amber Levi - 3||Assists||#10 Kelly Barnett - 8|
|Bryan (Tenn.)||Team Statistics||Milligan (Tenn.)|
|33.8% (23 - 68)||Field Goals %||40% (24 - 60)|
|20% (3 - 15)||3 Point Field Goals %||38.5% (10 - 26)|
|95% (19 - 20)||Free Throws||91.7% (22 - 24)|
|4||2nd Chance Pts||0|
Elizabethton, Tenn. – The Milligan College Buffaloes hosted the Bryan College Lions Women's Basketball team on Wednesday in their final home game of the regular season, and the Buffaloes had good reason to worry about the Lions after their earlier Appalachian Athletic Conference meeting in the year when Bryan pulled off the upset of then-ranked 23 Milligan. The Buffaloes showed no hesitation as they exploded for a 26-9 first quarter and never looked back as their lead wouldn't dip below double-digits following the opening period. Milligan shot 42.9 percent from the floor, 38.5 percent from behind the arc, and went 9-of-10 at the foul line in the first half. Bryan struggled early, finishing only 8-of-31 and 1-of-8 from deep. The Lions actually outshot the Buffaloes in the latter half of the game 40.5 percent compared to 37.5 percent, but the gap proved too much for Bryan to overcome. The 80-68 victory for Milligan helps them continue their hunt for the regular season conference crown as they currently are No. 2 in the AAC standings with an overall record of 21-8 and conference record of 17-4. Reinhardt University (Ga.) claims the top-spot at 26-3 overall and 18-3 versus conference opponents. The loss dropped Bryan to an overall record of 13-14 and AAC record of 11-10, leaving them in the middle of the pack in conference standings.
Despite losing the rebounds battle 43-40, the Lions protected the ball and kept their turnovers to 16 while forcing the Buffaloes into 21 turnovers. Milligan also showed impressive ball movement, compiling 18 assists as Bryan ended with only five.
Amber Levi (SO/Dayton, Tenn.) led all players with 27 points, 20 of which were scored in the second half, and finished 7-of-22 for the game along with a 10-of-10 performance at the foul line. She ranks 6th in the AAC in total scoring (421) and points per game (16.1), and her 82.9 percent free throw percentage is second-best in the conference and ranks her 23rd in the nation. Her total scoring ranks her 44th and points per game puts her at 46th in the NAIA. Levi also chipped in five rebounds and three assists. Maebry McNeese (JR/Nashville, Tenn.) pieced together an impressive outing as she notched 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. The only other Lion to reach double-digits was Megan Billingsby (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting. She also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Erisha Talley (SR/Alexandria, Va.) aided with eight points, going 3-of-9, and grabbed five boards. Kaylee Smith (SO/Dunlap, Tenn.) knocked down a pair of buckets for four points, Tonesha Allison (SO/Shelbyville, Tenn.) produced three points and corralled six misses, and Tristan McClellan (FR/Byrdstown, Tenn.) hit two free throws and collected five rebounds.
Milligan got on the board first, striking from three-point territory, as the opening quarter got underway. Talley countered on the opposite end for a quick score, and Bryan was able to get a stop that led to a make by Billingsby in the paint, providing the Lions with their only lead of the game, 4-3. The Buffaloes stampeded their way to a 10-0 run, gaining a 13-4 advantage midway through the period. Levi broke the silence with a trey, but Milligan answered back with a four-point play to go ahead by 10 points, 17-7. Levi was unstopped on the next possession as she capitalized under the basket, but it was the last score of the quarter for Bryan as Milligan closed it out with nine unanswered points for a 26-9 edge.
The second quarter was back and forth as Bryan managed to slim the margin by one point, outscoring Milligan 13-12. With two minutes to go until halftime, the Lions trailed 38-18 but used a four-point swing to go into break down 38-22 with a pair of free throws sank by Levi and McClellan.
No headway was made by either team in the third quarter as each team surged ahead with 23 points apiece, keeping the Buffaloes out in front by 16 points entering the final period, 61-45.
In Bryan's best quarter, the Lions were able to battle their way to 10 points away with 2:04 on the clock, 76-66, with the help of a 6-0 run coming from two free throws by Talley and back-to-back baskets by McNeese. Unfortunately the Buffaloes answered with four unanswered points at the foul line to go back up 80-66. In the last minute of play, Levi was the only player to score as Milligan took the 80-68 win.
Only one game stands between the Lions and end of regular season. Bryan plays host to fellow AAC school, Truett-McConnell University (Ga.), on Saturday, Feb. 18, with tipoff slated for 2pm.