Falcons silence Saints in conference win

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team used a dominating presence on the glass to take down host North Georgia College and State University 78-61 in a Peach Belt Conference victory Feb. 7.

The Falcons (17-6 overall, 8-4 in Peach Belt Conference) outrebounded the Saints 42-28 while pulling down 21 offensive boards.

Montevallo was led by senior D.J. Rivera, who scored 20 points, grabbed six boards and made three steals. Junior Marvin Fitzgerald added 17 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Fitzgerald dominated the offensive glass grabbing eight rebounds compared to NGCSU’s entire team, which had nine offensive rebounds.

Senior Antoine Davis scored 16 points, made four steals and had a pair of assists. Senior DeMarcus Catchings helped with the rebounding advantage, grabbing 11 boards.

The Falcons shot 44.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range. They improved slightly at the free-throw line, hitting 73.9 percent. The Saints shot 47.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. They hit only 50 percent from the free-throw line.

The Falcons outscored the Saints 36-22 in the paint, 29-16 off turnovers, 20-6 in second-chance points and 22-14 in bench points. Montevallo forced 20 turnovers by the Saints and made 12 steals.

The Saints led just once the entire ball game as they hit a jumper at the 17:13 mark to take a 7-6 lead. Montevallo responded with eight-straight to take a 14-7 lead.

Montevallo took its first double-digit lead at the 9:50 mark as junior Jonas Brown hit a 3-pointer to put the Falcons ahead 24-14. That lead quickly grew to 21 at the 3:48 mark as Fitzgerald hit a lay-up to put the Falcons ahead 36-15.  As time expired on the first half the Saints had cut one point off the Falcons lead as Montevallo led 42-22.

The Saints quickly cut the Falcons lead to just 11 in the opening minutes of the second half. Montevallo responded with a 9-0 run to retake a 20-point lead, capped by a Catchings free throw at the 11:45 mark. NGCSU was able to get to within 13 points in the final seven minutes, but the Falcons held them off pulling away to a 78-61 victory.

The Falcons will return to action this Saturday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. as they travel to Peach Belt Conference Western Division rival Georgia Southwestern State University.