MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2014) — Wednesday’s win for the Milligan College men’s basketball team was all about big-time shots late in the game, and no one made a bigger shot than Mickey Woods, who knocked down a 12-foot jumper with less than 11 seconds left to send the Buffaloes to a 75-71 victory over Tennessee Wesleyan College at the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
Milligan (7-0, 3-0 AAC) trailed by 12 with less than eight minutes to go in regulation before catching fire with an 18-6 run that tied the game at the 2:43 mark. Two and a half minutes later, Woods sank a two-pointer from just inside the right elbow that gave Milligan a 72-71 lead. He converted both free throws on the next possession to extend it to 74-71, and Mike Woods, Jr. sealed it with another free throw on Milligan’s last possession.
“We just didn’t give up, and that is great sign of the guys and the character that they have,” Head Coach Bill Robinson said. “This is a great group of guys.”
Milligan’s 18-6 run included a 3-pointer from Woods, Jr. that cut the deficit to four (60-56) with just over five minutes left. Woods, Jr. and Kurt Brooks then followed with 3-pointers from opposite wings on back-to-back possessions to finish the run with the last six points and tie the game up at 66-66. Prior to Woods, Jr.’s first 3-pointer, the Buffaloes were 3-for-19 from beyond the arc. They closed the final five-plus minutes making 3-of-4.
With the game even at 66-66, the game was far from over, however, as Tennessee Wesleyan’s Leland Robinson scored a bucket underneath the basket to give the Bulldogs the lead back their next time down the floor. At that point, Julian Bailey took his turn with the big plays, gathering an offensive rebound and creating an opportunity for Woods to tie the game once again before connecting on a jump hook in the paint that gave the Buffs a 70-69 lead with under one minute left.
Tennessee Wesleyan’s Devante Jenkins, who led the Bulldogs with 18 points and a game high 15 rebounds, made both free throws to with 35 seconds left to set up the exciting finish.
Milligan was led by Bailey’s 18 points and 14 rebounds for his first double-double this season. Chris Ellis scored 15 points with six rebounds, and Brooks and Woods had 13 and 12 respectively. Woods was held scoreless on 0-of-9 shooting in the first half.
“I think our depth tonight was really important,” Robinson said. “Mickey was sick. He didn’t feel well. That’s why we didn’t see him a lot in the first half. He showed how big his heart is in the second half, and Julian was unbelievable.”
Woods, Jr. scored nine points and added a game high four assists. The Buffaloes shot 40.3 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from 3-point territory. Nine members of the team got a piece of the rebounding action as Milligan outrebounded TWC 47-34.
“This start has been good,” Robinson said on his team moving to 7-0. “We did have high expectations, and it’s still a long season-we have a long way to go-but I’m proud of where we are right now, and obviously to beat a quality team like Tennessee Wesleyan is a good sign of things to come.”
The Buffaloes will be on the road for the next three games as they face Alice Lloyd College on Friday, Nov. 21 and Lee University on Monday, Nov. 24. Conference play will then resume upon the return from Thanksgiving break when Milligan heads to No. 16 Union College on Dec. 1. The Buffs will be back home against Truett-McConnell College on Wednesday, Dec. 3 for a women’s and men’s doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m.