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Milligan swept out of AAC

staff reports • Feb 23, 2013 at 7:03 PM

KINGSPORT — Milligan College was swept out of the Appalachian Athletic Conference basketball tournament semifinals Friday at MeadowView Convention Center.

The fourth-seeded Milligan men nearly knocked off No. 1 Tennessee Wesleyan, losing 85-83, while the top-seeded women were upset 61-52 by fifth-seeded Reinhardt.

Trailing by eight with 23 seconds left, Milligan’s Corey Hendren made back-to-back 3-pointers, including one as time expired, to make it close. The game saw 12 lead changes and was tied 11 times.

Freshman guard Cartree Pettis scored a career-high 24 points with nine assists to lead Milligan, which saw its season end at 18-13.

The Buffs trailed 39-35 at the break but turned the tide back in their favor and led 67-62 with just over eight minutes to play.

The Bulldogs battled back, getting five points from Zamarius McClendon, to go up 78-73, but a Tyler DeVault jumper cut it to three with four minutes left.

McClendon and E’Jay Ward combined to score the next nine points as the Bulldogs pulled away. They have now won 17 straight games, including two meetings with the Buffs during the regular season, and carry a 22-7 record into today’s championship game against the winner of No. 2 Point and No. 3 Bryan.

DeVault scored 16 in his final game at Milligan. Torian Torian Sitton had 14 points and Hendren finished with 11.

On the women’s side, the Lady Buffs will play in the NAIA national championship tournament despite the loss thanks to their regular-season AAC title. The tournament will be held March 6-12 in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Lady Buffs (23-9) had swept Reinhardt in the regular season but were never in control Friday.

After the Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead to open the game, Dorian Freeman and Johneshia Good each hit 3-pointers, and Allison Jones tied it up on a layup. However, back-to-back 3-pointers by Tara Hay gave Reinhardt a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Milligan never got closer than four points the rest of the first half, and twice got within two in the second half but couldn’t pull ahead.

Good led Milligan with 11 points, while Hill had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jones also scored 10 points.

Hay finished with 20 points for Reinhardt, which improved to 18-14 and plays third-seeded Union, 68-53 winners over Tennessee Wesleyan, in today’s championship game at 2 p.m. Aiken had 12 points and April Besley grabbed 10 boards.

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