Falcons clip Cougars in conference game

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team picked up a key Peach Belt Conference West Division victory Feb. 2 following a 59-55 win over Columbus State University.

Both teams struggled offensively with neither team reaching 40 percent shooting from the field.

The Falcons (13-6 overall, 6-4 in Peach Belt Conference) shot just 39.2 percent while holding the Cougars to a dismal 34.4 percent shooting performance.

Montevallo was led by junior DeMarcus Catchings, who had his third double-double of the season and second in a row with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Junior Antoine Davis added 12 points and eight boards. Junior Jervan Jackson tossed in 11 points and four boards. Senior Ronald Severtsgaard had nine rebounds and a team-high three blocks.

Jonathan Murphy came out firing for Columbus State, as he connected on a trio of jumpers to give the Cougars an early 6-0 lead.

Montevallo countered with a quick 9-2 run of its own, led by Catchings, who scored seven of the nine points during the spurt to give the Falcons their first lead of the game at 9-8 with 13:52 left to play in the first half.

A pair of free throws by Davis and another basket by Catchings stretched the Montevallo lead to 12-8 before Jarmarquis Steverson connected from deep for Columbus State, narrowing the deficit to 12-11 with 10:08 left in the half.

With the game tied at 17-17 with 6:24 left in the half, Columbus State reeled off a 13-5 run over the final six minutes to close out the first half of play. Columbus State led by as many as 10 points during the spurt before Tyrone Gordon scored a basket to narrow the deficit to eight points just before the half. Columbus State held a 30-22 lead at the break.

Montevallo has been a second-half team this season and that trend continued early on in the second half Wednesday night, as the Falcons stormed out of the break with a 9-2 run to cut the Columbus State lead to 32-31 on a 3-pointer by Jonas Brown with 14:22 remaining in the second half.

Columbus State stretched the lead to 37-33 on a basket by Issac Joyner before Montevallo went on another run, this one a 7-0 spurt to gain its first lead of the second half at 40-37. The run was capped off with a 3-pointer by Tyrell Coleman midway through the second half.

Columbus State fought back to tie the game at 40-40 on a jumper by Donta Ridley before a 3-pointer by Ryan Westbrooks and two free throws by Catchings put the Falcons ahead by a 45-40 margin with 6:42 left to play.

Columbus State continued to claw its way back into the game, finally knotting the game up at 51-51 on a 3-pointer by Andrew Houts with 2:30 left in the contest.

Catchings struck again as he drained another bucket to give Montevallo a two-point advantage, but Steve Peterson answered for Columbus State by tying the game at 53-53 on a layup with 1:43 left in the contest.

Montevallo finally took control of the game in the final minute, as the Falcons connected on 6-of-8 free throws in the last 60 seconds to secure a 59-55 victory.