CLEVELAND, Ga. (Nov. 24, 2015) – For the first time in the last eight seasons, the Milligan College women’s basketball team has won nine straight games as it withstood a back and forth final quarter to take down Truett-McConnell College 57-50 Tuesday night at the Bear Cave.
Milligan, which began the night as one of three teams in the Appalachian Athletic Conference with identical records at the top of the conference and one of four teams undefeated in AAC action, improved its record to 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the AAC. Truett-McConnell dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the AAC to remain one of four winless teams in league play.
Kelly Barnett had a season-high 17 points along with six rebounds to lead the Buffaloes’ attack, while Lindsee Price added nine points and also had six boards. Allison Jones and Callie Cox were both next with six points each, while Cox added four rebounds and two 3-pointers.
Defensively, the Buffs were the benefactors of 20 Lady Bear turnovers, converting those into 16 points compared to only three points off turnovers for Truett. Additionally, the 50 points allowed by Milligan was its second lowest of the season and fourth time in the last five games it has held opponents under 55 points.
After only two ties and two lead changes through the first 34 minutes of action, the final six minutes of the final quarter saw four lead changes that culminated with an 8-2 Milligan run that turned a 44-42 deficit, the most it would ever trail by in the game, into a 50-46 lead. Jones got the run started with a bucket at the 3:30 mark before Barnett and Cox both scored three straight points only 50 seconds later.
Barnett (2-2), Jones (2-4) and Sarah Robinson (1-2) went on the finish the game off at the free throw line for Milligan in the final 1:20 of action. Overall, Barnett scored seven of the Buffs’ 19 points in the final quarter.
The Buffs got off to a good start in the opening quarter, alternating between 7-0 runs with the Lady Bears and racing to two seven-point leads at 7-0 and 14-7.
After a 9-3 Lady Bears run to start the second quarter gave Truett its first lead of the game at 20-19, Milligan responded with a three from Barnett to retake the lead.
Next, after a basket by Truett to tie it at 22 with five and a half minutes remaining in the first half, Price, Mackenzie Raizor and Cox each scored during Milligan’s third 7-0 run of the half to make it 29-22. Cox’s basket during the run was a 3-pointer, and was the last of four threes in the half by the Buffs, coming from four players.
In the opening half, the Buffs dominated the points off turnovers battle at 12-3 despite committing seven turnovers themselves to eight for the Lady Bears. Additionally, Price was over halfway to a double-double with seven points, six rebounds and two assists through only 20 minutes, while seven Buffs recorded at least one field goal in the opening half.
With scoring limited for the majority of the third quarter, Truett outscored Milligan 9-4 through the first eight minutes and 15 seconds of the second half to make it a one-point margin at 33-32. The Buffs then scored more points in the final 1:40 of the quarter (5) than they did the previous 8:20 (4) as Barnett connected on three of four free throws and Andi Lamb netted her second basket of the game to make it 38-34 heading into the final 10 minutes.
Ashley Roby led Truett in points, rebounds and assists with 12, 13 and two, respectively, while Monica Hammond added nine points on 3-5 shooting from the field.
With Tuesday’s victory, the Buffs also surpassed their previous longest winning streak since 2010-11 of eight consecutive wins in the fall of 2010, and matched the nine straight wins accumulated in the spring of 2008. The streak is also the Buffs’ longest since at least 2003-2004, a feat Milligan will break if it reaches 10 straight wins.
Next up, Milligan continues with a nonconference road tilt on Monday, Nov. 30, at St. Catharine College, whom the Buffs defeated by 10 earlier in the month. After another road AAC matchup at Reinhardt University on Wednesday, Dec. 2, the Buffs will then return to the Steve Lacy Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 5, for a date with Montreat College.