MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2016) – Julian Bailey and Kurt Brooks combined for 29 points in the second half and the Milligan College men’s basketball team outscored Appalachian Athletic Conference foe Bryan College by 26 over the last 20 minutes on the way to an 82-56 win Thursday night at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
Milligan (10-4, 6-2 AAC) improved to within half a game of first place in league standings, matching both Tennessee Wesleyan and No. 4 Union for the league lead in wins, and built a one-game cushion over Bryan (10-7, 5-3 AAC) for fourth place in the AAC.
After a first half which featured six ties and four lead changes, Bailey scored a jump hook on the opening possession of the second half and Brooks knocked down one of his five triples on the next possession to put Milligan out front for good. The 5-0 spurt was the start of a 12-2 run and 21-6 run Milligan used to open the second half. From there, Milligan went out by 20 inside of eight minutes and by 30 in the final two minutes.
Bailey led all scorers with 24 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, his ninth double-double of the season. Brooks scored 23 on 6-for-14 shooting, including 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. He also had five rebounds.
For Bryan, senior Brandon Cole led the way with 20 points and 14 rebounds, matching Bailey for the AAC lead in double-doubles with his ninth. Cole came into the game as the nation’s leading scorer with 444 points. His average of 29.6 points per game was second best among all NAIA Division II players.
Defensively, Milos Petrovic was the key man matching up against Cole, and the Milligan senior held the nation’s leading scorer to his second lowest scoring output of this season. Freshmen Will Buckner and Jacob Cawood also had their turns guarding the Bryan big man.
Milligan will be on the road Saturday, Jan. 9, for an AAC matchup against Point University before returning home Wednesday, Jan. 13, for Reinhardt University. Tipoffs are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.