The Bulldogs came up short in a trip to Milligan College for their first AAC match up on Wednesday night.
The opening of the game saw neither team able to pull away from the other. The game was tied at 20 at the midpoint of the half. Milligan took a 26-24 lead with seven minutes remaining, but The Bulldogs fought back to retake the lead later in the period. The Buffs pulled way with a 9-3 run to take a 44-38 lead into halftime.
The second half saw Milligan quickly work to a 10-point lead. However, the Bulldogs slowly chipped away at the margin as they cut the Milligan lead to 74-73 with four minutes remaining. The Buffs quickly added to their lead with a basket from Sylvester and a pair of free throws from Marshall Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.). Tennessee Wesleyan tied the game in the closing seconds, but Milligan would not be denied as Sylvester took back the lead with a two-point basket with eight seconds remaining. Hudson Fricke (Greeneville, S.C.) secured the win with a pair of free throws in the game's final second. The Bulldogs were defeated 84-80.
Leading for the Bulldogs was Matt Towry with 21 points and 4 rebounds. Matt Harper scored 20 points and also pulled down 4 rebounds. Also scoring in double digits for the Bulldogs was Sean Bridges with 13 and E'Jay Ward with 10.
As a team, Tennessee Wesleyan was 31-of-46 (67%) from the field and 7-of-13 (54%) from behind the arc. The Buffs were 32-of-54 (59%) from the floor and 4-of-8 (50%) from behind the 3-point line. The Bulldogs were out rebounded 21-26 and suffered from 12 turnovers.
The Bulldogs play Montreat College, who also lost their first AAC match, on Saturday, January 8th beginning at 4:00 pm.