CHAPEL HILL – The Milligan College JV men’s basketball team withstood a late rally to hold off the University of North Carolina’s JV basketball team as Milligan took a 79-77 victory over the Tar Heels on Sunday, Jan. 29.
“I thought we competed hard, and I was very proud of how we fought from the start,” Coach Aaron Collazo said. “We haven’t done so well in the past at UNC and we made some big shots when we needed to. It’s a privilege that UNC allows us on the JV schedule, and Sunday is an experience that those guys will never forget.”
The Buffaloes opened the game quickly as they built up a double-digit lead in the first half as the Milligan defense held UNC without a field goal for nearly six minutes. After the Buffaloes held an 11-point lead with just under four minutes to play, a Tar Heel run in the closing stages of the half cut the Milligan lead to 32-29 at the break.
In the second half, the Buffaloes saw UNC jump out in front as they the Tar Heels led by seven points five minutes into the half. However, Milligan continued to fight as they regained the lead, and then held a four point advantage with four minutes to go.
After UNC cut the gap to one point with 16 seconds left, the Buffaloes saw Brandon Bark (Cherokee, N.C.) grab an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, and then Bark hit both of his attempts at the line to give Milligan a 3-point lead. The Tar Heels scored with eight seconds left to cut the Buffaloes lead back to 1-point, but Bark was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the Milligan advantage once again.
The Tar Heels quickly drove down the court and scored a jumper to pull within one point with two seconds left. After Bark hit added another free throw, Morgan McLeod (Hickory, N.C.) intercepted a desperation UNC pass, but landed out of bounces with 0.6 seconds left. The Tar Heels tried a last second shot, but was unable to score as Milligan held on to take the victory.
McLeod led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds. Bark ended the game with 15 points and six assists, while Chris Ellis (Bristol, Tenn.) had 14 points. Tanner Joseph (Johnson City, Tenn.) tallied up 10 points. Scott Blake (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Tyler Moore (Kingsport, Tenn.) had eight and seven points, respectively, while Kendall Walsh (Elizabethton, Tenn.) recorded six points.
As a team, Milligan was 30-of-65 (46%) from the floor and 7-of-24 (29%) from behind the arc. The Tar Heels ended the game 25-of-64 (39%) from the field and 7-of-20 (35%) from the 3-point line. As a team, Milligan outscored UNC 36-28 in the paint.
(Note: This article is reprinted online with permission from the Milligan College Office of Sports Information.)