Milligan men survive OT at TMC

Carter County Sports

CLEVELAND, Ga. (Feb. 4, 2015) – Mickey Woods was held to 10 points over 40 minutes of regulation, but the senior turned Wednesday’s game into the Mickey Woods Show in overtime, scoring all 11 of the Milligan College men’s basketball team’s overtime points to send the Buffaloes to an 81-80 victory over Truett-McConnell College in Appalachian Athletic Conference action.

Milligan (17-6, 11-3 AAC), second currently in the AAC and receiving votes in the national top-25 poll, improved its league standing over third-placed Truett-McConnell (14-10, 9-5 AAC) to two games while remaining two games back of league-leading Union College (13-1 AAC).

Woods was 4-for-4 with a 3-pointer, two made free throws and a rebound in overtime, improving his game totals to 8-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-8 from 3-point territory while adding five rebounds and four assists. His 21 points marked the third straight game reaching 20 points.

“This was a great win over a tough Truett team,” Head Coach Bill Robinson said. “Mickey played great down the stretch, and our defense was able to get that one stop when we needed it.”

Each of Woods’ last three baskets of the game turned a one-point deficit into a one-point advantage, and his game-winning free throws were scored in an 80-79 ballgame with 13.5 seconds left. Truett-McConnell’s Rudy Deaza had an open look at three as time wound down on the Bears final possession but missed.

TMC forced overtime thanks to a 3-pointer banked in by J’Quayveon Williams on a sideline inbounds play following an offensive rebound with six seconds left in regulation. Williams hadn’t taken a 3-pointer all season but converted from the left wing to tie the game at 70-70. Deaza took his final (missed) 3-pointer of overtime from the same spot.

Woods was one of four Buffs in double figures as Kurt Brooks (15 points), Morgan McLeod (13 points) and Julian Bailey (12 points) all chipped in in major ways on the offensive end. Brooks matched Woods with a 3-for-8 effort from 3-point territory, and the team combined for nine made 3-pointers in the victory. McLeod registered a double-double, adding 10 rebounds.

Regulation was a true tale of two halves as Milligan built a lead out to as many as 19 in the first half and led 42-29 at the intermission only to see the Bears open the second half on a 17-2 run which put them into the lead. Milligan’s strong first half included an 11-0 run where the Buffs looked to put the game away midway through the half. Mike Woods Jr. had a breakaway layup followed by a made 3-pointer from the wing during that stretch, and Brooks capped it off with a steal and layup himself.

Roughly four minutes later, Bailey did the same, swiping a steal in the open court before finishing the play with a breakaway dunk on the other end. That made it 42-26.

Things started to look bleak for the Buffs by the time overtime rolled around. With the Bears roaring back in regulation and tying the game with a late 3-pointer, it only seemed to get worse when TMC’s Andretti Loyd nearly had a chance at an and-one on the opening possession of overtime. Woods and the Buffs responded, though, with an overtime period they will not soon forget.

For Truett-McConnell, four players reached double figures in scoring, led by Deaze who had 18. Williams scored 17 and added 12 rebounds.

In the last meeting between Milligan and Truett-McConnell, the Bears stole a 78-72 overtime decision at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. Woods’ 17 points led all scorers in that one as well.

Milligan will continue the season on the road with a trip to Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, before returning home next Wednesday, Feb. 11 for a rematch against Reinhardt University.

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