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Milligan basketball vaults into second place in AAC

Tanner Cook • Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 4:47 PM

Milligan College athletics have seen quite a surge of outstanding performances over the past two weeks ranging from the hardwood to the water and everything in between. Here is a look ahead of what is to come for the Buffaloes.

The men’s basketball team started the season off on a rocky note, but was never quite out of any game during the early going. Now, Milligan is playing some of its best basketball and has vaulted into second place in the Appalachian Athletic Conference standings behind Union.

The hot-shooting Buffs have won five consecutive conference games and seven of eight. In the first week of January, Milligan was sitting in ninth place, at 4-9 with a 3-4 record in the AAC.

Now, they have a 14-12 record to go along with a 12-7 AAC record.

The remarkable climb in the standings has been fueled by the sharpshooting of senior guard David Casaday — who tied the school record with 10 3-pointers last week — and “Mr. Double-Double” Aaron Levarity, who notched his 20th one on Monday against Montreat.

The Buffs will have Senior Night celebrations on Saturday against St. Andrews. The tip is set for 4 p.m.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The Lady Buffs have been playing well lately, too. They have won four of five with the lone loss on the road to one of the AAC’s best teams in Bryan. Milligan currently sits in sixth place in the conference, but is a dangerous team come tournament time, especially with the tournament being played close to home in Kingsport.

Sarah Robinson leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per game and yanking down 7.5 rebounds per contest.

Milligan has been hovering around .500 all season, but recently have gotten over the hump and sit at 16-12 with a 12-10 conference record.

The Lady Buffs will play host to St. Andrews on Saturday with tip set for 2 p.m.

SWIMMING

Freshman sensation Margaret Halloran dominated her events in the 500 freestyle and one mile swim at the AAC championships en route to nabbing Conference Swimmer of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Kelly Chism-Essler was named Coach of the Year as part of a banner year for Buffs swimmers.

Halloran crushed the meet record in the one mile swim with a time of 17:46.92, which eclipsed the previous record by 20 seconds. She also broke the 500 freestyle record on the first day with a 5:07.94 that bested the previous record by six seconds.

Overall, Milligan swimmers dropped time in 105 of 128 races they competed in with 20 national cuts made and six school records beaten. Forty personal bests were set over the weekend.

INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD

The track team will compete this weekend at the AAC Championships in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the JDL FastTrack.

The Buffs have already racked up national standards across the board from weight throw to the distance medley relay.

The meet will only be one day and the Buffs will have two more last chance meets after conference at JDL before the national meet in March to be held at Pittsburg, Kansas.

BASEBALL

Even though it is still technically winter, the Buffs have hit the diamond and are off to a 3-4 record start, but were nearly swept in a four game series against a good Rio Grande team. The Buffs managed to salvage the series over the weekend with a walk-off win in the last game, 4-3.

Milligan will host Shawnee State University (Ohio) on Tuesday in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.

SOFTBALL

The Lady Buffs started their season on Tuesday, splitting an away doubleheader with Lincoln Memorial University. They will travel for their next series at the University of the Cumberlands on Sunday. Their first home series will be Wednesday, Feb. 21 against Mars Hill with the first game set to begin at 1 p.m.

TENNIS

The men’s and women’s tennis teams are set to begin their spring seasons this weekend with trip to Georgia to face Reinhardt and Point on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The first home match will not be until March 14 against Union.

MEN’S VOLLEYBALL

The young Buffs have been going through growing pains lately, losing all three of their matches so far this season, but have been competitive in each one.

The team will be in action again on Thursday, Feb. 15 at Bluefield College and will travel this weekend in the UT Bud Fields Tournament at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The next home match will be on Friday, March 2 against Brewton-Parker College.

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