LAURINBURG, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2015) – A pivotal run in the opening minutes of the second half was key in the Milligan College men’s basketball team’s fourth straight win, a 74-55 victory over Appalachian Athletic Conference foe St. Andrews University Wednesday night.
Milligan, which once again received votes in the national top-25 poll this week, improved to 14-5 (9-2 AAC) and remained one game back of league leader Union. St. Andrews fell to 7-8 (4-7 AAC). The Buffs also completed the season sweep of the Knights, having won 74-62 when the two teams met inside Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
Milligan led by five at the half but opened the game up early on after the break, going on a 12-2 run over a span of nine minutes coming out of the locker room. Kurt Brooks sparked it with a 3-pointer on Milligan’s opening possession of the second half. He later went on to knock down his next two attempts, the last of which gave the Buffs a 16-point advantage with just over 10 minutes to play in regulation.
Brooks finished with 11 points and was one of five Buffaloes in double figures. Chris Ellis led them with 18 points on 7-of-10 from the field. Ellis led all scorers at the half with 11 points.
Morgan McLeod (13), Mickey Woods (10) and Julian Bailey (10) were the others to reach double digits. Bailey added seven rebounds.
After a Brooks basket gave the Buffs an 18-point lead with eight minutes to go, SAU responded with an 11-2 run which brought the lead down to single digits with less than five minutes left. Both teams traded baskets over the next few possessions before Milligan closed the game on a 13-2 run over the last three and a half minutes.
For St. Andrews, Aaron Smith led all scorers with 19 points, making eight baskets from the field and two from beyond the arc. Jeff Gulley came next with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Milligan will remain on the road for the next game, heading to Tennessee Wesleyan College (9-8, 5-5 AAC) for more AAC action this Saturday, Jan. 24. The following Wednesday, the Buffs will square off against league leader Union College at home with major postseason implications on the line.