KINGSPORT — Both the Milligan College men and women pulled away late to win their opening games in the Appalachian Athletic Conference basketball tournament on Thursday at MeadowView Convention Center.
Three-pointers from Johneshia Good and Chelsey Weddle keyed a 24-8 run over the final seven minutes as the top-seeded Lady Buffs beat eighth-seeded Columbia 75-56. Milligan’s men, seeded fourth, got 24 points and 17 rebounds from Tyler DeVault and outscored No. 5 Reinhardt 25-7 in the final three minutes for a 76-68 victory.
The Lady Buffs advanced to face fourth-seeded Reinhardt, 62-42 winners over No. 5 Bryan, in today’s women’s semifinals at 2 p.m. The men take on top-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan, which defeated St. Andrews 123-97, in the men’s semifinals tonight at 7.
Jamiee Hill scored 15 points in the first half for the Lady Buffs, including 10 of Milligan’s 12 in five-minute stretch that put Milligan on top 24-20. The Lady Buffs led 36-32 at halftime.
Milligan pulled away 49-41 five minutes into the second half, but Columbia cut back down to three with just under eight minutes left. From there, the Lady Buffs remained in control for the win. Hill finished with 19 points, while Good had 15 and Weddle scored 13.
In the men’s game, Milligan led 39-32 after a back-and-forth first half. After trading baskets to open the second half, Reinhardt got within a point, 48-47, on a 6-0 run.
Shots by Catree Pettis and Torian Sitton put the Buffs up 61-50 with seven minutes left, but Reinhardt used a 12-1 run to tie it at 62 with four minutes left. Pettis added four straight points, and Milligan shut down the Eagles the rest of the way for the win.
Pettis finished the game with 20 points and Sitton had 14. The Buffs shot 27-of-52 (52 percent) for the game.