With 12 seconds left on the clock Jacob Cawood sank a three-pointer to put the Milligan College men’s basketball team up 68-67, but a field goal by Bluefield’s D’monte Evans with five seconds left gave the Rams the winning point and the Buffs fell in their Appalachian Athletic Conference opener 69-68 Wednesday night in Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
With six minutes left in the first half Milligan and Bluefield were tied 26-26 before the Rams went on a 21-0 run to advance their lead and make the score 47-26. Milligan was able to score two more points in the first half to make the score 47-28 going into the second half.
Milligan then entered the second half going on a 17-2 run to cut the Bluefield lead down by four with 14 minutes left in the second half. In the 11th minute a field goal by Matt Cole tied the game up 51-51. The Buffs and the Rams continued to go back and forth the rest of the game as the game’s deciding factor came down to one point in the final seconds.
Overall, Milligan’s total field goal percentage was higher than Bluefield’s with a .426 and the Rams shot .377. However, Bluefield outshot Milligan in three-point shots with a .320-.250 and free throw shots .750-.344.
Tyler Nichols had a game high of 23 points shooting 7-of-14 from the field. Desean Green had 15 points, five assists and six defensive rebounds. Bo Pless had 10 points and seven total rebounds and Cawood had a team high of nine defensive rebounds.
Bluefield was led by Niquan Cousins and Evans who had 22 and 19 points respectively.
Milligan is on the road for their next three games. Their first stop is an exhibition matchup against NCAA Divison I Elon on Friday, Nov. 8. The Buffs then will travel to Allen on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and Tennessee Wesleyan Saturday, Nov. 16, for two AAC matchups.