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Buffaloes women’s basketball claims AAC regular season title
Milligan College, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2013) — The Milligan College women’s basketball team claimed the 2012-13 Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season title on Wednesday night with a 87-83 victory over Columbia (S.C.) College inside Steve Lacy Fieldhouse. The win secured the Buffaloes an automatic bid to the 2013 NAIA Women’s Basketball D-II National Championships in Sioux City, Iowa.
After Columbia jumped out to a 6-0 lead to open the game, Chelsey Weddle (Hampton, Tenn.) sparked an 11-2 Milligan run as the Buffaloes maintained an 11-8 advantage four minutes into the game. The Fighting Koalas battled back to regain the lead, but Jamiee Hill (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Johneshia Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) added shots to give Milligan a 20-16 lead midway through the first half.
Milligan answered Columbia’s 8-0 run with 3-pointers from Tracy Hardiman (Maryville, Tenn.) and Good to battle ahead to a 28-26 lead. After the Fighting Koalas pulled back out to a five point lead, Good scored three points for Milligan, but Columbia used a 7-0 run to take a four point lead with just over three minutes to play. In the final minutes of the first half, Good and freshman Allison Jones (Morristown, Tenn.) scored five and four points, respectively, to give the Buffaloes a 46-43 lead at the half.
Good led the way for Milligan at the half with 17 points. As a team, the Buffaloes finished the period 18-of-39 (46%) from the floor and 6-of-16 (38%) from behind the 3-point line. Columbia ended the half 18-of-43 (42%) from the field.
The Buffaloes quickly ran out to a 57-47 lead to start the second half with five points from Weddle, but the Fighting Koalas battled back to close the gap to three points with just over 14 minutes left in the game. Milligan responded as Callie Cox (Knoxville, Tenn.) started an 8-0 run that was capped by a Dorian Freeman (Augusta, Ga.) lay-up that put the Buffaloes up 69-58 midway through the second half.
Columbia, however, used a 15-4 run over the next five minutes to take a 76-75 lead with over five minutes left in the game. Hardiman stopped the run with a 3-pointer and Good scored with 4:58 left on the clock to give Milligan a 79-76 lead. The Buffaloes quickly pushed their lead out to 86-79 with just over a minute to play, and Milligan kept the Fighting Koalas at bay to take the victory as well as the AAC title.
Good finished the game with 23 points to pace the Buffaloes. Hill recorded 15 points, while Weddle ended the game with 15 points. Hardiman scored 14 points.
As a team, Milligan ended the game 34-of-72 (47%) from the field and 9-of-25 (36%) from behind the arc. Columbia was 35-of-84 (42%) from the floor and 3-of-7 (43%) from behind the 3-point line.
With the win, Milligan improves to 15-2 in AAC action and 21-8 overall. Columbia falls to 7-22 on the season and 4-13 in conference play.
Milligan returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 16, as they wrap up the regular season at Point University. Game time in East Point, Ga., is set for 2 p.m.
MILLIGAN COLLEGE is an athletic powerhouse in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), with 23 intercollegiate sports. In the past 10 years, Milligan has won 50 conference titles and made 57 national tournament appearances. For more information on Milligan athletics, visit www.milliganbuffs.com.
MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast, Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers 30 undergraduate majors and four master’s degrees. To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-447-5922.