Lady Buffs overcome Wesleyan

By Travis Brown

STAR Staff

   The Milligan Lady Buffs got off to a slow start against Tennessee Wesleyan Tuesday night, but mounted a second-half charge that tamed the Lady Bulldogs 78-69.
   Both teams displayed above average outside shooting but it was the Lady Buffs who would pour it on when it counted late in the game.
   The first half saw a battle between Wesleyan's Annie Hargis and Milligan's Amanda Hammonds. The two stellar shooters traded big baskets, with Hammonds hitting 4 of 6 to Hargis' 3 of 7.
   Despite the solid shooting performance, rebounding helped the Lady 'Dogs secure an 8-point halftime advantage. However the second half would have more in reserve for the Lady Buffs.
   This half would belong to Kari Stout as the former Hampton standout led the Lady Buffs on a comeback defined by great shooting.
   After a scoreless first half Stout turned it up a few notches by scoring 19 points, with four buckets coming from beyond the arc.
   "I needed to play better in the second half," Stout said. "My teammates pumped me up, and I needed it."
   Milligan would go on to take the contest by nine. Hammonds tallied 14 points for the Lady Buffs, followed by Joy Clark with 10. Ginny White dished out seven assists.
   Hargis was tops for Wesleyan with 16 points.
   After the contest, Lady Buffs skipper Rich Aubrey commented: "This was a big game for us. I thought this game was the difference between making a run, or just trying to salvage the season."
   In the nightcap matchup, the guys attempted to deliver the same medicine. Despite a strong second half, the breaks did not fall in their favor in a 64-62 defeat.
   The first half was characterized by sloppy offensive execution and solid defense by both clubs. While the Bulldogs were having woes shooting the basketball, the Buffaloes couldn't hold on to it.
   With both sides looking to make adjustments, the second half promised to be much better, and the product did not disappoint as both teams came out with a spark.
   The Buffs opened up the second half with a 10-0 run to take the lead. Momentum was firmly in Milligan's court until a big slam by Balford McLeod evened the tempo.
   The Buffs relinquished the lead only to regain it thanks to a big block shot by Todd Davis. The resulting fast break found Mike Morrell for two of his 25 points.
   Morrell became the offense juggernaut for the Buffs in the second half, as his perimeter shooting and clutch passing helped Milligan battle back into contention.
   Coming down the stretch the Buffs had two separate opportunities to retake the lead and win the game but it wasn't in the cards.
   Head coach Tony Wallingford chalked the loss up to inexperience.
   "We played hard and we still had two chances to win that game in the end," he said. "We made inexperienced mistakes at key times but we will get better."
   Jonathan Harris contributed 12 points to the Milligan cause. Mike Brock led the Bulldogs by scoring 15.