MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Nov. 20, 2019) – The Milligan College men's basketball team came back from an 18 point deficit with three minutes left in the first half to lead for the majority of the second half but fell to Montreat in overtime 90-87 Wednesday night.
With tonight's loss the Buffs move to 3-2 (2-2 AAC) and the Cavaliers move to 5-1 (3-1 AAC). Both programs are currently receiving votes in the NAIA coaches' poll.
The first half was all Montreat as the Cavs came out dominant. Eric Reed and Austin Butler led the Cavs with nine points apiece in the first half to help lift Montreat over the Buffs going into halftime. Montreat outshot Milligan 44.1% to 35.5% and took advantage of seven Buff turnovers.
Milligan bounced back in the second half and went on a 19-3 run in the first seven minutes of play to put them in the lead 49-46. A three-pointer by Bo Pless then advanced the Buffs' lead where they would stay for the rest of the game until Reed hit a three-pointer to tie it up. Tyler Nichols tried to put the game away with a shot in the paint with 45 seconds left but Reed turned around ten seconds later with a two-point shot of his own.
Milligan and Montreat stayed neck and neck for the first three minutes of play but a three-pointer by Butler for the Cavs propelled Montreat into the lead where they would stay for the rest of the game. Nichols made a shot with 23 seconds left to make the Buffs down by one but they were unable to take the lead back.
By the numbers
Nichols led the Buffs tonight with 21 points, Jacob Cawood and Pless led close behind with 17 apiece. Mike Featherston had eight rebounds and three blocks for Milligan's defense. Desean Green finished the night with 11 points, five assists and he and Nichols both finished the night with seven rebounds apiece.
Montreat was led by Reed and Butler with 30 and 22 points apiece.
The Buffs travel to Union on Tuesday, Nov. 26, for an Appalachian Athletic Conference matchup against the No. 17 Union College Bulldogs.