The Buffs were outscored 30-8 in the third period and went on to lose 96-67 in a battle between two squads that qualified for the NAIA National Championships last season.
All in all, Tuesday’s showdown on the road provided a good measuring stick for the experience-laden Buffs, who were selected as the preseason favorite to win the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Milligan is a Division II team, but they stood toe-to-toe for over a quarter with its Division I foe, which advanced to the national semifinals last spring.
Hayley Wyrick, a senior, had an excellent outing in her return after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Wyrick scored 23 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists on Tuesday night.
Sarah Robinson picked up where she left off last season by scoring 18 points to go along with eight boards. Courtney Wilson chipped in 11 points and five rebounds for Milligan, which will play again this Saturday at Columbia College in Missouri.
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Milligan’s cross country program has plenty of confidence heading into this Saturday’s AAC Championships, which will be contested just across the North Carolina border in Black Mountain.
The women are ranked eighth in the nation heading into the event and are considered to be among the serious contenders at the NAIA National Championships in a couple weeks. Led by Hannah Segrave and JJ Robinson, the women’s team is rounding into top form, but expects to face a serious challenge from SCAD-Atlanta.
On the men’s side, the Buffs are anchored by two all-American caliber performers in Brandon Ellis and Taylor Talfelsky. The addition of former Daniel Boone standout Mitch Bronstetter has also bolstered the men’s chances.
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The soccer season came to a bitter end for Milligan’s women on Tuesday night as they came up on the short end of a 1-0 result.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in Tuesday’s opening round AAC tournament game, Truett-McConnell’s Carson Batye was able to score the only goal of the game to end Milligan’s season. The loss brought an end to a remarkable career by Milligan goalkeeper Charlotte Stephenss, who was stellar throughout Tuesday’s match.
With a roster full of freshmen and sophomores, however, the future looks bright for the Buffs.
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Columbia College was able to outlast Milligan’s volleyball team in a thrilling five-set match on Tuesday night, locking the Buffs in as the No. 2 seed in the upcoming AAC Tournament.
Columbia won 25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 17-15 to help lock up the regular-season championship for Union and secure a split with the Buffs on the season.
Marissa Langford hammered home 20 kills and Samantha Bruinius added 16 for Milligan (28-7, 17-3). Kellee Geren distributed 43 assists and Grace Ann Moorhouse added 22 digs.
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The men’s basketball team will play its home opener against Alice Lloyd College on Thursday night at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
The Buffs come into the contest 0-1 on the season after dropping their season-opening contest to the University of the Cumberlands last week. Fielding a young lineup, the Buffs will look to rely on their homecourt advantage as they continues to develop some chemistry and search for continuity in their rotation.
Thursday’s game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.