Falcons set for exhibition opener at Purdue

Published 11:42 am Monday, October 29, 2012


MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team will take on a Big Ten Conference opponent for the first time in school history Oct. 30 when the Falcons face Purdue University in an exhibition game in West Lafayette, Ind.

Tip-off at Mackey Arena is set for 6 p.m. Central Standard Time.

The season opener marks the first of two exhibition games scheduled against opponents from the toughest conferences in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball landscape.

Montevallo will travel to Oxford, Miss. to face Ole Miss in an exhibition game Nov. 5 at Tad Smith Coliseum at 7 p.m.

The Falcons return three starters from the first squad to advance to the NCAA Division II national championship game in school history.

The Falcons also captured the Peach Belt Conference West Division title during the regular season before taking home the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament Championship hardware in the postseason. Montevallo finished the season with a 29?8 record, with the program’s 29 wins tying the record for the most in a single season set by the 2005?2006 squad.

The 2011?2012 season marked the seventh time the Falcons have advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament in school history, with all seven appearances coming under current head coach Danny Young. Young has guided the Falcons to the NCAA Division II Tournament in each of the past three seasons.

Senior forward Drico Hightower is the leading scorer returning with his average of 8.2 points per game. The 6?foot?7 Augusta, Ga. native also averaged 5.2 rebounds per contest. Hightower will be joined in the frontcourt by fellow senior Marvin Fitzgerald, a 6?foot?5 forward who averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Sophomore guard Ryan May returns to the backcourt after posting 6 points and 2.4 rebounds a game a year ago. May also shot 37 percent from beyond the arc last season.

Senior guard Jonas Brown returns as the top reserve off the bench. The 6?foot?1 guard, who finished with a team?high 57 3?pointers last season, averaged 8.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Three other reserves return to the team, including senior Jeff Hefner, a 6?foot?8 forward who registered 2.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game a year ago. Senior Travis DeShazior, a 5?foot?11 guard, averaged 1.4 points and 1.1 rebounds per game last season. Senior guard Danny Cummins, a 6?foot?1 guard, averaged 3 points and 1.2 boards a game.

Montevallo will open the regular season at home Nov. 13 against Stillman College. Tip-off at BankTrust Arena is set for 7 p.m.