Robinson’s record performance leads Milligan to win in AAC quarterfinals


Senior Sarah Robinson tied Milligan College’s single-game rebounding record with a 25-point, 21-rebound effort Thursday in a 56-53 over Bluefield College in the quarterfinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament, held at MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center.

Robinson had a double-double hardly four minutes into the third quarter on the way to 19 second-half points and 13 second-half rebounds. She scored Milligan’s final five baskets of the game during the final six and a half minutes and helped the No. 21-ranked Buffaloes erase a two-point deficit with three minutes left. Milligan won its fourth straight and 10th of the last 11 to improve to 26-5 (23-3 AAC).

The game featured seven ties, seven lead changes and each team leading by as many as seven. Milligan earned its largest lead after an Emily Kiser 3-pointer, Milligan’s only made 3-pointer of the game, made it 13-6 in the first quarter, but Bluefield answered right back and earned its largest lead of 26-19 after a 13-0 run in the second.

Teams went into the locker rooms with Bluefield ahead 27-21.

Milligan then started the third quarter on a 9-2 run to go into the lead, and neither team led by more than two possessions the rest of the way. In fact, after Bluefield’s Cierra Cook made a free throw with roughly five and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, neither team led by more than three.

Milligan trailed by two with three minutes to play, but unanswered buckets by Robinson at the 2:51 mark and the 1:39 mark put the Buffs into a lead they would not relinquish. Robinson then scored a basket with 1:04 left to put Milligan up 55-53, and the Buffaloes held the Rams scoreless for the final minute, making enough stops on the defensive end and Emma Kate Brown adding a little cushion with a made free throw with 30 seconds left.

Robinson was the only Buffalo in double figures for scoring, but eight others made it into the scoring column. Kaely Gose scored six, Andi Lamb, Teal Davis and Kiser had five, and Cassidy Anderson scored four.

Milligan was cold from the perimeter, shooting just 1-for-18 (5.6%) in the contest, including 0-for-5 in the second half.

Robinson’s 21 rebounds matched Becky Sells and Mackenzie Raizor for Milligan’s all-time single-game effort. Sells recorded her effort Jan. 16, 1999, against Covenant College; Raizor recorded hers earlier this season in the AAC opener at CIU Nov. 7, 2018. Only four known players have gone over the 20-rebound mark in a single game in Milligan history, and two of them came this season.

Milligan defeated Bluefield twice this season: 75-66 at home Jan. 10, then 81-57 at Bluefield Feb. 14 during the final week of the regular season. Kiser (19), Gose (17) were the leaders in the first matchup. Robinson (15), Gose (13) and Brown (12) were the leaders in the second matchup.

Thursday’s win improved Milligan to 8-3 against Bluefield since Bluefield rejoined the AAC in the 2014-15 season. Prior to that, Milligan has won seven of the last 11 meetings.

Cook led the Rams with 15 points while Courtney Kendrick recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Bluefield ended its season with a record of 15-16 (14-12 AAC).

With the win, Milligan will play again Friday in the semifinal round at 4 p.m. back here at MeadowView against Tennessee Wesleyan University. Milligan defeated TWU by 18 at home (79-61) but lost by two on the road (73-71). If the Buffs win Friday, they would earn a spot in the championship game, scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

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