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Milligan women’s basketball falls in AAC tournament

Kingsport, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2013) — The top-seeded Milligan College women’s basketball team was unable to complete a late rally as they fell 61-52 to No. 5 Reinhardt University in the semifinals of the 2013 Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament inside the MeadowView Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn. The Buffaloes will participate in the 2013 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championships as AAC regular-season champions.

After Reinhardt jumped out to an 8-0 lead to open the game, Dorian Freeman (Augusta, Ga.) and Johneshia Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) each hit a 3-pointer to counter the Lady Eagles run. Allison Jones (Morristown, Tenn.) hit a layup with 14:18 left in the half to tie the game at 8-8. The teams traded shots as Milligan trailed 19-15 at the midpoint of the half and 23-19 with seven minutes left.

A 9-2 Reinhardt run gave the Lady Eagles the first double-digit lead of the night. However, Jamiee Hill (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Freeman hit baskets in the final minutes to close the gap to 32-25 at the half.

Hill led the way for Milligan as she had eight points at the half. As a team, the Buffaloes were 11-of-28 (39%) from the field and 2-of-10 (20%) from behind the 3-point line in the first half. Reinhardt ended the half 13-of-35 (37%) from the floor and 5-of-13 (39%) from behind the 3-point line.

Good opened the second half with four straight points, but the Eagles responded with a 6-0 run of their own to maintain a 38-32 lead six minutes into the half. The teams traded shots as Hill and Jones pulled the Buffaloes within three points at midpoint of the half.

The Buffaloes kept fighting as they trimmed the lead to two points with consecutive buckets from Chelsey Weddle (Hampton, Tenn.) and Kayla Kelly (Chattanooga, Tenn.). However, the Lady Eagles pulled away with a 6-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 55-45 lead with just over two minutes left in the game. Good and Weddle hit baskets in the final minutes, but the Buffaloes were unable to close the gap any further before time expired.

Good led the way for Milligan with 11 points. Hill had 11 rebounds and 10 points, while Jones scored 10 points.

As a team, the Buffaloes were 19-of-55 (35%) from the field and 5-of-23 (22%) from behind the arc. Reinhardt finished the game 21-of-58 (36%) from the floor and 6-of-18 (33%) from behind the 3-point line.

The Buffaloes fall to 23-9 on the season. Milligan will participate in the 2013 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championships March 6-12, in Sioux City, Iowa.