Cavs have way with Milligan

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   The Milligan Buffaloes were shot down from long range on Tuesday, as the Cavaliers of Montreat attacked from the outside to capture a 93-78 victory in an Appalachian Athletic Conference game.
   The Cavaliers, hitting 14 of 29 from three-point range and shooting 54 percent from the field, were more than the Buffaloes could withstand.
   "We're very perimeter-oriented. We have four or five guys who can shoot 40 percent from three-point range, and we just penetrate and pitch, hoping to knock down shots," said Montreat coach Bill Robinson.
   Milligan started off the first half by dominating the boards and the game on the interior.
   James Howard was unstoppable early on, as he pounded the glass to score eight points in the first five minutes of play.
   "We really don't have a big post player inside, so we have to find ways to rebound which are unconventional, and we did better in the second half than in the first," said Robinson.
   Howard poured in 16 points on the night and pulled down nine rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end for eight scores.
   Milligan stayed in a see-saw battle through the first 10 minutes of the half, with neither team being able to pull ahead by more than a three-point margin.
   After trailing 16-13, Montreat went on a 11-0 run to grab the game's biggest lead during the first-half, as they connected on three trays by Ben Lee and Jesse Gardener.
   Gardener finished as the game's highest scorer with twenty-four, going six of ten from three-point land.
   Montreat had achieved a 24-18 advantage with 9:00 minutes left until half-time, but the Buffaloes came storming right back.
   Milligan pulled back within one after, Michael Morrell drove down the left side for the lay-in.
   The Buffaloes continued to follow Montreat closely until with two and a half minutes to play.
   Howard received a pass down low from Derek Dyer to give Milligan the lead, which was held till' half-time.
   Hanging onto a 42-38 lead at the break, Milligan had outbattled the Cavaliers on the boards, and controlled the game inside.
   To start the second half, it appeared that Milligan might be well on its way to a much needed win.
   Lance Ashby knocked down a three-pointer to get the Buffaloes off and running, and Derek Dyer, after a steal and pass was executed by Ashby on the fast break, added to their biggest lead of the night,
   Ashby led the Buffaloes in scoring with 18 points, and hitting all four of Milligan's three-point goals.
   The lead stood at 49-40 with less than two minutes gone by, as Milligan seemed to be building momentum.
   This was simply not the story though, as it appeared the Buffaloes started losing some of their focus after that point.
   "I was as disappointed as I have been with our effort and determination in the second half," said Milligan coach Tony Wallingford.
   The Cavaliers reassumed the lead at the 15:00 mark, with Daryl Horne taking the ball inside to draw the foul for the three-point play.
   Horne finished with 23 points, including eight boards to lead Montreat in rebounding.
   The game stayed neck-and-neck through the second-half until the 11-minute mark, when the Cavaliers went on a 15-2 run.
   Outside shots from Ryan Cook and Lee opened the game up for Montreat, which proved relentless from the arch.
   Falling behind as many as 14 with 6:10 left in the regulation, the Buffaloes had acquired a deficit which they were unable to bounce back from.
   "Tonight we were not giving a winning effort," Wallingford said. "In the first half we made it happen, but in the second I think we forgot just how we got the lead."
   Lady Cavaliers 78
   Lady Buffaloes 66
   The Milligan Lady Buffaloes were unsuccessful in making a comeback, as they fell to Montreat in a 78-66 final.
   "I felt like the bottom line to tonight's game was we didn't get off to a good start, and we can't afford that against a good team," said Milligan coach Rich Aubrey.
   The Buffaloes were paced by Nicky Jessen and Joy Clark, with both scoring 14 points on the night.
   Amanda Hammonds and Lacy York led Milligan in the rebounding department with 10 boards apiece.
   After trailing 36-27 at the half, the Buffaloes managed to hang tough throughout.
   Milligan shrank the gap down to 64-61 with under 5:00 to play when Ginny White drove down to the foul line, connecting with the nice jumper.
   This was as close as it came as the Lady Cavaliers outscored Milligan 14-5 in the final minutes of action.
   Montreat was led by Jennifer Brooks, who finished with 25 points, along with eight rebounds.
   Carla Brannock poured in 20 for the Cavaliers, while Julie Buchanan finished with 18.
   "We seem to be a lot more patient now offensively in setting better picks, and therefore whoever is taking the shot is usually wide-open," said Montreat coach Joe Hagan.
   Amanda Duncan topped the Lady Cavs in rebounding with nine.