ATHENS, Tenn. (Jan. 21, 2019) – Tyler Nichols and Jacob Cawood knocked in a pair of clutch free throws and the Milligan College men’s basketball team picked up their ninth straight win with a 76-72 victory over Appalachian Athletic Conference foe Tennessee Wesleyan Monday afternoon on the road.
Milligan improved to 15-5 on the year and 9-4 in AAC play as they swept the season series against the Bulldogs after defeating Tennessee Wesleyan 88-85 in overtime Saturday, Jan. 12, inside Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs dropped their eighth consecutive contest and fell to 8-11 and 4-10 in conference play.
After heading into the halftime break with a 35-30 lead, Milligan struggled early in the second half and allowed a 10-0 run from the Bulldogs that saw the Buffs go from leading 39-32 to trailing 42-39 at the 17:24 mark.
With the Bulldogs up four and looking to stretch out the lead, Tyler Faulkenberry drained a big 3-pointer to trim the lead to one and sparked a 10-3 run that put Milligan back on top for good.
The Buffs built the lead up to as much as 11 points with 7:26 remaining on a Bo Pless 3-pointer, but the Bulldogs attempted a late rally and got within three points with just over a minute remaining.
With Wesleyan looking for a big stop, Levarity missed a shot from deep in the paint, but Faulkenberry was able to snag a huge rebound and kick it out to Nichols. Nichols was fouled and netted a pair of free throws to extend Milligan’s lead to five. After a made three by the Bulldogs on their ensuing possession, Cawood knocked down two more free throws to make the final score 76-72.
BY THE NUMBERS
Levarity poured in 13 of his 15 points in the second half and hauled in 15 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season. The senior also added three assists, two blocks and a steal. Entering today’s contest, Levarity led the AAC in eight different categories including points per game and rebounds per game.
Four other Buffs joined Levarity in double figures led by Cawood, who compiled 15 points. Faulkenberry chipped in 12 off the bench, and Nichols and Mike Featherston added 11 and 10 respectively. Pless also contributed with seven points off the bench.
Overall, Milligan shot 48.3 percent from the field while holding the Bulldogs to under 40 percent. The Buffs continue to play stingy 3-point defense as they held Wesleyan to 6-of-25 from deep.
The Bulldogs were led by Ty Patterson with 26 points and nine rebounds. QD Cox joined Patterson as the only other Bulldog in double figures with 16 points.
Milligan wraps up their three-game road trip with an AAC showdown against No. 9 Union Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m. The Buffs return home to Steve Lacy Fieldhouse Saturday, Jan. 26, for an AAC tilt against Reinhardt University. Tip-off is set for approximately 4 p.m. after the women’s game.
Story and Photo Courtesy of Milligan Athletics and Robert Kell