Falcons survive overtime scare against West Florida

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo women’s basketball team won a back-and-forth battle with the University of West Florida 69-67 on the road in overtime Nov. 18.

The Falcons trailed by as many as nine points in the first half before leading by as many as 14 points in the second half in the game decided in overtime.

The Falcons (2-1) received a boost in the overtime period from senior Taylor Welch, who found her range from the outside as she scored six of the Falcons’ 11 points in the overtime period on a pair of long-range jumpers. Welch ended the game with 12 points, which all came from 3-point baskets as she hit 4-of-6 from beyond the arc on the night.

Junior Teanna Boxley led the Falcons with 17 points, while senior Shavonne Seymore added 14 points. Seymore collected her first double-double of the season as she grabbed 11 boards to go with her 14 points. Seymore also led the team with five assists.

Despite being the Falcons’ two leading scorers in the game, both Boxley and Seymore were held scoreless in the overtime period.

Freshman Taylor Beverly had 12 points on the night as she was 5-of-6 from the field. Beverly, who also had seven boards, provided four of the Falcons’ 11 points in the extra period. Junior Zena Nasiloski had another efficient night on the boards as she grabbed nine rebounds and scored six points.

The two teams were evenly match as the Falcons hit 37 percent from the field, while West Florida hit 36 percent. Montevallo had 15 turnovers while the Argos had 14. The Falcons grabbed 55 rebounds compared to West Florida’s 49. The Falcons free throw woes continued as they hit just 47.6 percent from the charity stripe, but the Argos did not do much better as they hit 52.9 percent.

West Florida held the lead for almost the entire first half, but the Falcons kept it close. With 6:01 left in the period, the Falcons held a slim one-point lead before a 12-2 run by the Argonauts to close the half gave the home team a 30-21 lead at the break.

Montevallo began to claw its way back into the game with 17:30 left in the second half. The Falcons trailed 34-25, but a 30-7 run over the next 11 minutes gave the Falcons a 55-41 lead with 6:33 to play. The Argos responded with an 11-0 run to cut the lead to just three points with 2:46 to play. The Falcons pushed the lead back to five points with 17 seconds left on the clock, but a 3-pointer, a pair of missed free throws and a 2-point basket tied the game at 58-58 with four seconds left on the clock. Montevallo was unable to get a shot off as time expired, which sent the game into overtime.

A pair of free throws gave the Argos a quick two-point lead in the overtime period, but a long-range 3-pointer from Welch with a hand in her face gave the Falcons a one-point advantage. After a free throw by the Argos to tie the game, Beverly came up huge with a layup to put the Falcons back on top. Montevallo survived a pair of offensive rebounds on the Argos’ end of the court that came up empty, which opened the door for another Welch 3-pointer to put the Falcons up by five points with 1:20 left in the period.  Another offensive board led to a layup for the Argos to cut the lead to three points. Montevallo then gave up back-to-back turnovers and layups to surrender the lead with 39 seconds left in the game.

With just 19 seconds left on the clock, Beverly hit another layup to put the Falcons up by one point. Beverly then raced down to the other end of the court and made a huge block with seven seconds left on the clock before Welch collected the rebound. Junior Trena Moore-Smith connected on 1-of-2 free throws to put the Falcons up by two points with four seconds left in the game. A desperation heave by the Argos fell short as the Falcons walked away with a 69-67 victory.

West Florida was led by Ashley Rush, who had a game-high 24 points. Th Argos also had three other players in double figures.

The Falcons will return to action Nov. 19 as they take on in-state rival, the University of West Alabama, in Montevallo’s second game of the Argonauts’ Tip-Off Classic.