Feb. 16—BLUEFIELD, Va. — The Milligan University Buffaloes scored the final nine points of Monday night's Appalachian Athletic Conference game with Bluefield College at the Dome Gymnasium, taking a 78-69 victory back to Tennessee.
The game was the Rams' first since the team was suspended and forced to forfeit last Thursday's scheduled game with Reinhardt University as a consequence of kneeling during the national anthem in contradiction of Bluefield College President David Olive's directive that the controversial gesture be replaced by less-divisive means of protesting racial injustice.
The Buffaloes got the game's first points 90 seconds after the opening tip, but the Rams rallied and took a six point lead when Jermiah Jenkins sank a three with 14:48 to play in the opening half. Milligan tied the game at 10 and then opened a five-point lead midway through the first half.
Rob Littlejohn sank a pair of free throws with 6:23 on the clock to put BC back in the lead. Jenkins then converted on a fast break layup and Christian Bullock made a bucket to make it 24-19. Stanley Christian's coast-to-coast drive capped with a slam dunk gave the Rams their biggest lead at that point of the game, 26-19 with 4:34 showing on the clock.
Bluefield College controlled the remainder of the half and led 37-26 at the break.
The Rams opened their biggest lead of the game — 13 points — when Omega Stitt drilled a three with 18:20 to go. Milligan then began its comeback.
The Buffaloes cut the lead to seven with 14 minutes remaining in the game. It was down to three and later whittled to two points.
The Buffs tied the game at 51 with 10:24 remaining and retook the lead with just over nine minutes left. For the next seven minutes the teams battled and Bluefield took its final lead, 66-65 on a Stitt trey with 3:40 to play. Jenkins made a layup to tie the game at 69 with 1:35 on the clock, but the Rams did not score again.
Stitt topped the Bluefield College scoring column with 15 points. Christian tallied 13 with eight rebounds, and Jenkins and Trent Dunn each scored 11.
Former BC Rams player David Tripp led Milligan with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
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