Falcons halt Hurricanes in conference victory

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team used a late second-half run to down Georgia Southwestern State University 60-48 in a Peach Belt Conference victory Feb. 11.

The Falcons (18-6 overall, 9-4 in Peach Belt Conference) were led by senior D.J. Rivera, who scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, falling just short of a double-double. He also tied for the team lead in assists with three and steals with two.

Three Falcons scored 11 points each, including senior Antoine Davis, senior DeMarcus Catchings and junior Marvin Fitzgerald.

Davis added seven boards, two assists and two steals to his total while Catchings had six rebounds and a pair of blocks. Fitzgerald had nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.

The Falcons dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Hurricanes 42-28.

Montevallo shot just 35.3 percent from the field in the game but made up for it at the free-throw line, making 22-of-28, good for 78.6 percent. The Hurricanes shot just 30.4 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line.

The early portion of the game was very close with neither team breaking away. With 13:33 left in the first half, the Falcons began a 6-0 run to create a small gap between themselves and the Hurricanes. After the run the Falcons led 13-7 with 10:12 left on the clock. The Hurricanes slowly worked their way back into the game eventually tying the game at 18 with 3:58 left. Montevallo made another small run late in the period to take a 27-21 lead into halftime.

The Falcons opened the second half with two quick jumpers from Rivera and Catchings to open up a 10-point lead. Montevallo saw that lead slowly evaporate as the Hurricanes began to claw their way back. With 10:46 to play a 3-pointer by the Canes gave Georgia Southwestern a 38-36 lead. Montevallo eventually took back the lead on a steal by junior Drico Hightower and a fast-break dunk from Rivera, which gave Montevallo a 41-40 advantage. With seven minutes left in the contest and the game tied at 43-43, the Falcons began a 17-5 run to close out the game, giving them a 60-48 victory on the road.

Montevallo now has sole possession of first place in the Peach Belt Conference Western Division. The Falcons are one game ahead of second-place Columbus State University.

The Falcons will return to action this Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. as they travel to Columbus State University in a showdown for control of the Western Division.