Montevallo women come up short in PBC opener

The University of Montevallo Lady Falcons erased a 15-point second half deficit to take a 2-point lead with just over eight minutes left to play against No. 21 Lander before falling short in a 60-58 loss to the Lady Bearcats in the first ever Peach Belt Conference game Jan. 2 at Bank Trust Arena.

Senior guard Alex Sanabria’s layup with 8:09 remaining gave the Lady Falcons a 49-47 lead in their PBC opener, but Lander responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead for good. Junior guard Tiaren Young turned the ball over with 13 seconds remaining and Montevallo couldn’t get a shot off after rebounding a missed free throw with less than three seconds left.

Senior guard Alicia Lewis led Montevallo (7-4, 0-1 PBC) with 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 field goals from 3-point range. Junior guard Shan Jones added 11 points and eight rebounds. Sanabria and Young finished with eight points each. Junior forward Carrie Parrott had seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Tasheba Butler led Lander (9-1, 2-0 PBC) with 14 points. Kaylyn Small had a team-high 11 rebounds.

Lander jumped out to an 11-4 lead early with its full-court pressure interrupting the Lady Falcons’ offensive game plan. Montevallo started to break the pressure and responded with a 15-9 run to cut the lead to 20-19 with 10:04 remaining in the first half.

Lander went on an 8-2 run minutes later to push the lead to 28-21 and ended the first half with a 37-26 advantage.

The Lady Bearcats extended their lead to 41-26 early in the second half before Montevallo began its comeback attempt. The Lady Falcons dominated in the post to cut the lead to 43-37, and back-to-back 3-pointers by senior center Amanda Scott and Lewis cut the lead to 47-43. The Montevallo run came as the Lady Bearcats went cold from the floor, and Sanabria’s layup gave the Lady Falcons their only lead of the second half.

Lander extended its lead to 58-51 with 2:45 remaining before two free throws by Young and another 3-pointer by Lewis tied the game at 58-all with 1:18 left in the game. Shannon McKever’s layup with 44 seconds left turned out to be the game-winning basket for Lander.

It was the second comeback attempt that came up just short for the Lady Falcons in the span of four days. Montevallo erased a 24-point deficit in the first half of a 60-55 loss Dec. 30 to No. 3 Delta State at Bank Trust Arena.