It took eight minutes to play the closing seconds, but Milligan’s men held on for a vintage Appalachian Athletic Conference finish.
Recording two pivotal stops in the final 10 seconds, the Buffs outlasted rival Montreat 77-76 Wednesday night at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
“Defensively, you need stops when you’re not shooting the ball well,” said Milligan coach Bill Robinson, whose team improved to 10-7 overall with a 4-5 mark in league play. “We went through a stretch where we didn’t score for a long time. We didn’t get a shot for four or five possessions.”
A lead as large as 10 quickly fell to a deficit in the second half thanks to a 13-0 run from the Cavaliers. Milligan responded with defense, forcing 27 turnovers for the night and limiting the opposition to 40 percent from the field.