BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2014) — Clutch free throws by Morgan McLeod and an offensive putback with 16 seconds left by Julian Bailey sent Milligan College to a 70-69 upset of No. 16 Union College Monday night in Appalachian Athletic Conference men’s basketball action.
Milligan (9-1, 4-0 AAC) moved into a tie for first place and remained one of only two unbeaten teams (Bryan College) in the conference. The Buffaloes also upended a Union (7-3, 3-1 AAC) squad that won last year’s regular season and conference tournament tiles and was tabbed as this year’s preseason favorite.
“Any road win in the conference is big,” Head Coach Bill Robinson said. “Our guys played so hard and are really starting to believe in themselves. But we still have a long way to go.”
Bailey had the game-winning field goal with 16 seconds left after gathering a Patjo Twagirayezu miss underneath then putting it back for a 70-69 lead. The basket gave Bailey 14 points on the night but was only Milligan’s fourth made basket on a second chance. The preceding rebound was Bailey’s 10th rebound of the contest, giving him his second double-double of the season.
Less than 45 seconds prior to Bailey’s winning basket, McLeod put the Buffs on top, 68-67, with two made free throws at the 54-second mark. McLeod had entered the game making 16-of-19 (84.2%) on the season but had one miss on two attempts in the middle of the first half, helping the Buffs chip away at an early nine-point deficit.
McLeod also added some defense on Milligan’s last defensive stand, contesting the shot of a slashing DeAntray Stevens whose would-be winner missed right as time expired.
McLeod finished with 11 points, Bailey had 14, and Mickey Woods led Milligan with 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Woods scored 13 in the second half and added eight rebounds and four assists.
For Union, Stevens scored 10, JD Tucker scored 15, and Deante Johnson led all scorers with 25. Johnson converted a pair of free throw attempts in between McLeod’s free throws and Bailey’s winner which put the Bulldogs on top 69-68 with 37 seconds left.
Milligan will be back home for the next two games, each of which will be AAC doubleheaders with the women. First up, the Buffaloes will face Truett-McConnell College Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Then they will face Bryan on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All four games will be at the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.