By Rick Sheek
KINGSPORT — Milligan College’s basketball team gets one more shot at the kingpin of the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
The Buffs disposed of Reinhardt 76-68 in Thursday’s AAC Tournament quarterfinals at MeadowView Convention Center. Next up is top seed Tennessee-Wesleyan in tonight’s semifinal at 7.
“It was win or never play again for me, so I knew I had to give it everything I had,” said senior forward Tyler DeVault, who cut loose for 24 points and 17 rebounds. “That’s what I’m going to do. I wasn’t going to go out on a bad note.
“We got a big win. That was huge.”
The Buffs (18-12) held a nine-point lead with seven minutes remaining, before Reinhardt (11-16) rallied to tie the affair 62-apiece three minutes later. Milligan then closed the game on a 14-6 run, highlighted by a put-back and a dunk from DeVault.
“I thought our defense was great,” Milligan coach Bill Robinson said. “We hadn’t played zone all year, and we started working on it a little the last couple of days. I figured we could use it, sooner or later, and then the guys brought the energy and played really well defensively the second half.”