Falcons play host – UM advances to NCAA South Regional final

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The University of Montevallo managed to fight off a persistent Eckerd College for a 65-62 victory in the second round of the NCAA South Regional Sunday night in People’s Bank and Trust Arena.

UM was knocked down early, but bounced back to take an early lead in the second half, but only to be counterbalanced by Eckerd, as the two swapped leads 11 times down the stretch.

Down 46-44 with nine minutes to go, UM sparked an 8-0 run that gave them their largest lead of the night at six (52-46). But just like the rest of the game, Eckerd had an answer.

The Tritons chipped away at the Falcons’ lead to eventually tie the game at 57 on a 3-point play by Craig Hazel with 2:10 to play.

UM answered moments later when James Hall, who was so far 2-12 on the night, sank a 3-point basket to give UM a 60-57 lead. Steve Berg answered for Eckerd with a 3-pointer of his own to tie it back up 60-60 with 1:13 to play.

With everyone in the arena on the edge of their seats, Jamil Jerman stripped the ball at half court, giving up an outlet pass to James Hall, who took it to the basket for a layup and foul, bringing everyone to their feet.

Hall connected on the and-one play to give UM a 63-60 lead.

The Falcons’ defense stepped up in the final seconds to seal the game with another Jerman steal at the buzzer to give UM the win and head coach Danny Young his 100th career victory.

Marcus Kennedy led the way for the Falcons with 19 points, followed by Hall’s 13 points and 12 points and six assists from D.J. Towns.

Greg Plummer led Eckerd with 27 points.

UM (26-6) moved forward to the South Regional finals for the second straight year to meet Lynn University (27-5) yesterday. Results were unavailable at presstime. Lynn defeated the University of Central Arkansas 73-69 earlier in the day on Sunday.

Montevallo advanced to the finals by downing Barry 74-48 on Saturday