Late Tornado surge beats Buffs

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The men's game was deja vu to the earlier contest at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse Saturday night.
   The Milligan College Buffaloes fought through a tied first half and kept a lead throughout the majority of the second, but the King Tornado made a late rally and the Herd couldn't catch them, falling 72-65.
   "We needed stops and we didn't get them," said Milligan coach Tony Wallingford. "They scored on two or three consecutive possessions, and we came down and they were able to stop us offensively.
   "That proved to the difference in the game."
   Again Milligan controlled the boards, but King was very successful from beyond the three-point line, hitting 11 of 19 and shooting 15 of 18 from the free-throw line.
   C.J. Manahan and Derek Linkous each hit five treys in the game, with Linkous putting away four clutch trifectas in the second half.
   "That's a good basketball team when they can get that done, so you have to give them some credit too," said Wallingford. "They hit all their free throws in that stretch."
   "They have outstanding perimeter players and we were worried about them," said King coach Scott Polsgrove. "Between C.J. and Derek and some big free throws late, it got things done for us. It's not our forte and not how we play, but it's a sign of a good team when they can adjust a little bit."
   "I'm very elated that we could get the job done tonight against a very good Milligan basketball team," he said. "Tony does a great job. To beat Milligan is great for us."
   King went on top early with treys from Manahan, Linkous and James Chapman with a pair of inside buckets from Grady Kring.
   Milligan came back to take the lead after a miss and dunk from JaKeith Hairston.
   Hairston dropped four buckets in the first half, while Michael Morrell and Jon Harris pulled through with three buckets to tie things up at 29 going into the second half.
   Milligan scored the first seven points in the second half and kept a lead more than halfway through the frame due to solid play from Craig Emmert and Scott Ferguson.
   King rallied back to tie the game around the eight minute mark, with Manahan and Linkous dropping the three-balls left and right.
   Justin Seaver added a pair of buckets and King went up by six with under two minutes left.
   The Buffs tried to make things work with Harris and Morrell adding buckets, but they kept getting caught with fouls, while King hit their shots.
   "We did a good job for 35 minutes of the game and challenged," said Wallingford. "We made a bunch of mistakes and we got down to that one point where we had to make plays defensively and offensively to win the game and we didn't."
   Manahan led the game with 21 points while Linkous added 17 for the Tornado. Chapman and Seaver each added eight for King.
   Harris hit nine deuces in the game for the Buffaloes en route to his team-high 19 points with eight boards, while Emmert added 18, after hitting four buckets in the second stanza, with four blocks and nine boards.
   Hairston dropped ten while Morrell finished with nine. Both players only had one bucket in the second half.
   Milligan led the game in steals (9-8), blocks (6-2) and rebounds (36-28), but King had one less turnover and four more assist, while shooting two percent better (47 to 45).
   The Buffaloes get back to work on Monday before going on the road for another big conference battle against Montreat on Tuesday. The Buffs' next home contest is Thursday night against UVA-Wise.