It was like high school all over again for Chelsey Weddle.
The Milligan freshman keyed a pivotal second-half scoring run and the Lady Buffaloes ran away from Bryan College 80-65 in Appalachian Athletic action Saturday at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.
Weddle, with 14 points, was one of three Lady Buffs to score in double figures thanks to a 12-point stretch of offense which produced what would be the game’s decisive baskets.
“That was probably the best I’ve played recently,” said Weddle, the former Hampton product who added three steals. “I just felt like I was in high school again. I just started driving.”
Milligan, which led by as much as 20 in the first half, saw Bryan pull within 11 as the second frame got under way. The Lady Buffs fought back to a 16-point lead before Weddle took control on the offensive end with an eight-point run that included two three-point plays.
“She’s got an injury she’s dealing with, but she has been playing really well,” said Milligan coach Rich Aubrey. “She had a really good streak in the second half where she just took over the game and that’s really nice to see.”
Weddle added another three-point play and free throw to give the Lady Buffs a 26-point lead.
“It’s been a great opportunity, especially as a freshman,” Weddle said. “It feels great and I think the world of this team.”
Milligan gave Bryan a fit from the opening tip with its aggressive defense and it translated to production on the offensive end.
Kayla Kelly and Dorian Freeman each hit multiple buckets as the Lady Buffs opened play with a 16-3 scoring run.
“It looked good on offense, but I really feel like the key today was defensively,” said Aubrey. “We kick-started ourselves, and I think we made them uncomfortable from the beginning. I think they struggled on offense and that helped us get comfortable and get off to a really hot start. We pretty much maintained that throughout the game.”
Ashlee Price pushed the Milligan lead to 20 and the Lady Buffs went into the locker room with a 16-point edge.
Morgan Burnette and Kelsey Brooks did their best to give the Lady Lions an opportunity to get back in the game at the top of the first half, closing within 11, but a trey from Kelly and Weddle’s run of buckets put Bryan on hold.
Milligan pushed its lead to as much as 27 before the reserves took the floor for the remaining bulk of the game.
Bryan closed the game on a 17-5 run to climb within 15 by the sound of the final horn.
All-in-all, 12 Lady Buffs got in on the scoring action. Along with Weddle, Kayla Kelly added 14 for Milligan, while Price scored 11 in her strong first half.
“It’s really a good day when you can get everybody opportunities to get in there,” said Aubrey. “And they mean a lot to us with what they contribute everyday in practice, so we really pull for them when they get the opportunity to get into the game and get some minutes. That was exciting for our team.”
Bryan finished the game with three scorers in double figures led by Burnette’s 21 points. Sarah Newton and Kaylan Dilts also scored 10 each for the Lady Lions.
With the win, Milligan improves to 15-11 and 7-7 in the AAC, while Bryan falls to 12-13 and 3-11.
Four players scored in the double figures to pace the Buffaloes in the second game.
Responding to an earlier loss against the Lions this season, Milligan maintained its halftime lead and held off any charge Bryan threw its way in the final minutes.
“It’s hard to tell by our record, but we have been getting better,” said Milligan coach Bill Robinson. “We keep talking about the next play and looking toward our future.”
Milligan, which led by four at the end of a competitive first half, pushed its advantage to double figures eight minutes into the second half with a trey from Bryant Edwards and shot clock beating three from Kyle Grisby.
“It was a good shot,” said Grisby. “I had to rush to get it up and I made it.”
Bryan pulled within six, but Milligan used a Torian Sitton slam and buckets from Marshall Hardy to take a lead of 11 with under three minutes on the clock.
The Lions were unable to respond by the final horn.
Grisby scored 20 to pace Milligan, who shot 57 percent (27-of-47) from the floor on the game. Mickey Woods added a 15-point effort, while Hardy and Cordero Seymour dropped 10 apiece.
Dion Fair scored 18 to lead Bryan, who got 13 and 11, respectively, from Carrin Nash and Rob Riley.
With the win, Milligan improves to 9-14 and 5-8 in AAC action, while Bryan dips to 11-15 and 6-6.
The Buffs and Lady Buffs visit Union College Wednesday and return home with Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday.