MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2017) – Sophomore Daxton Bostian sank the winning shot with under three seconds left in overtime on Tuesday night in the Milligan College men’s basketball home and Appalachian Athletic Conference opener against Truett-McConnell University. The Buffaloes defeated the Bears, 85-84.
AN INTENSE SECOND HALF
Milligan battled back after a seven point deficit at the half (39-32). It was a toe-to-toe race after a 3-pointer made by sophomore Bo Pless with five minutes left to go in the second half. After 69 apiece and 71 apiece, the Buffs trailed by one with 14 seconds left (76-77). However, junior Tyler Nichols earned an offensive rebound and was sent to the free throw line.
Nichols tied the game with two seconds left (77-77) going 1-2 from the line forcing the Buffs into their first overtime challenge of the season against Truett-McConnell.
Immediately Bostian drained a 3-pointer in the first 20 seconds of overtime. Furthermore, Nichols blocked a shot while Bostian earned the rebound and Bostian found Nichols on the fast break enabling him to go up for a dunk increasing the Buffs overtime lead by five points with two and a half minutes to go (82-77).
The Bears fought to minimize the deficit making a 3-pointer and then a free throw with just 43 seconds left (82-81). Nineteen seconds later, Truett’s Darius Thrower drained a 3-pointer putting the Bears in the lead (84-83).
BOSTIAN’S BIG SHOT
“Dax is just a tiger. He is an absolute tiger,” Head Coach Bill Robinson said after the game. “He doesn’t realize how small he is and he just gets his nose in there and fights. He does it every day in practice.”
Sure enough, Bostian proved his grit and made the winning jumper in the final three seconds to secure the Buffs first victory. Levarity went up for a shot and missed before Nichols got the rebound and was credited the assist.
“We missed 12 free throws tonight,” Robinson said. “We should have won on free throws, but maybe the extra five minutes helps us down the road.”
The Buffs were led by Nichols with 19 points. Following was Bostian with 17 and senior David Casaday with 15. Levarity led Milligan with 11 rebounds recording his first double-double of the season. Bostian also led with five assists while Levarity earned four. Milligan’s bench outscored Truett-McConnell’s, 43-20.
Truett’s David Campbell scored 38 points on 14/24 shooting. He was 7/10 from 3-point territory. The Bears’ Mario Westbrooks had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
“Any win right now feels good, but to be able to finish and make a play to win a game is going to help our confidence,” Robinson said. “We really, really needed this one.”
Milligan is back on the road for two AAC contests on Thursday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 18. Thursday’s game is played at Bluefield College at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday’s game is at Reinhardt University at 7 p.m. The Buffs will be home again next Tuesday, Nov. 21, against No. 2 Union College.