UM plays in Sweet 16

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Special to the Reporter

D.J. Towns scored a game-high 24 points, including five 3-point baskets to lead the University of Montevallo to a 78-57 victory over GSC foe Henderson State University in the semifinals of the NCAA South Regional Tournament in Valdosta, Ga., on


The victory propelled the Falcons to the regional final against Rollins College, who defeated Sunshine State Conference foe Eckerd College, 77-54, in the other semifinal.

With the win, UM entered the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II Tournament and set up yesterday’s matchup with Rollins. Results were unavailable at presstime.

&uot;Again tonight, we had a great effort by the guys, they just came out and played their hearts out defensively,&uot; Falcons’ head coach Danny Young said after Sunday’s victory.

Marcus Kennedy also scored in double figures for UM with 19 points. Rashien Little scored 1 point, but collected a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and five steals. Steve Parillon led HSU (23-7) with 20 points.

UM trailed by 6 points (8-2) in the first three minutes of the game and put together a 10-2 run over a two-and-a-half-minute stretch on a pair of 3-point baskets by Towns and baskets by Towns and Marcus Kennedy.

&uot;I looked at coach and told him, ‘This is my house,’&uot; Towns said.

A stingy UM defense to open the second half limited the Reddies to 6 points in the first eight minutes of the half. UM led by as many as 28 points, before a HSU rally trimmed the lead to 17 points late.

The victory also tied a school record for victories in a season. UM last won 23 games in the 1988-89 season and won 23 games in the 1974-75 season, qualifying for the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Mo