Lady Buffs lose on final shot

By Matt Hill

   Abby Reed may have scored 34 points Saturday night, but 32 of those points didn't seem to matter compared to the two she netted at the end of the game.
   Reed's last-second shot in overtime capped off an amazing game, as Covenant defeated the Milligan College Lady Buffaloes 74-73 at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
   The shot came on an inbounds play in which Covenant barely had time to get a shot off. But like she had so many times during the contest, Reed came up with the big shot.
   This one though, was like an answered prayer for Reed.
   "I definitely did say a prayer before that play," she said. "All I can remember is our senior point guard coming around, and she said to me 'Abby I want you to make that shot.' I went in there and Joanne Reitz passed it in to me, and I just turned around and I shot it and I was like 'thank you Lord Jesus.'"
   This was Reed's second big game against Milligan in a week. In last week's 93-69 victory over the Lady Buffs, Reed scored 39.
   "She's going to score," Milligan head coach Rich Aubrey said. "When she puts her mind to it she's going to score. The thing about it is you've got to execute on offense so you can keep the pressure on her, and try to make her earn everything she gets. You've got to play tough defense on everybody else, so that those other people have to earn their points as well.
   With Reed already scoring 71 points against Milligan in two games before the winning shot, Aubrey wasn't surprised that Covenant put the ball into her hands at the end.
   "That wasn't a surprise," Aubrey said. "I would like to watch the tape, but I don't feel like we let her take an easy one. I don't feel like it was an easy one. But I'm not surprised she took it."
   The only big surprise of the night might have been the game going into overtime in the first place.
   Milligan trailed 51-37 with 9:10 to go in regulation, but a couple of baskets by Lacy York started the unbelievable comeback by the Lady Buffs.
   "Lacy made some big plays," Aubrey said. "She did a good job defensively, and made a couple of big plays defensively."
   Milligan finally tied the game at 61-61 with 48 seconds to go after Amanda Hammons drew a foul and hit both free-throws.
   Hammons finished the evening with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
   "Amanda's playing great right now," Aubrey said. "She's been doing her job pretty consistently all year. She's been putting up big numbers, and doing a lot of good things for us on both ends. It's a shame we weren't able to take advantage of the great game she had."
   Milligan had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Amanda Greene's desperation shot missed to force the overtime.
   The lead went back and forth in the overtime, but it looked like Hammons might have won the game for Milligan after hitting the go-ahead basket despite being double teamed to put the Lady Buffs up 73-72 with 13.7 seconds left.
   On the next possession, it appeared like Reed had thrown the ball to Milligan, but the basketball became loose and a jump ball was called to give the possession to Covenant.
   That's when Reed stepped up and made the bucket, but the senior was more than complimentary of Milligan's effort.
   "Milligan hustled a lot," Reed said. "They got a lot of good plays outside, they came out strong, and they never gave up. I've got to give it to them for that. They're definitely a hard working team."
   Kari Stout added 15 to the Milligan cause. Greene finished with nine points on the night.
   It was a big improvement from last Saturday's blowout loss to the Lady Scots, but Aubrey wasn't pleased with just playing Covenant close.
   "I won't argue that we improved," he said. "There's no question that we played better than we did last Saturday. But we can't be satisfied with that. We can't accept that as a victory. We have to allow that to motivate us to get better at the things that we're not doing as well right now."
   The Lady Buffs fall to 6-9 overall and 3-4 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play, while Covenant improves to 7-8 overall and 3-6 in the AAC.