Strickland lifts Falcons to win on the road at West Alabama

FROM STAFF REPORTS

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – University of Montevallo senior Alex Strickland grabbed an offensive rebound and scored the game-winning basket with four seconds remaining to lift the Falcons to a 59-58 win on the road at non-conference foe University of West Alabama in women’s basketball action Dec. 8.

Strickland’s game-winner helped Montevallo close out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 5-4 record heading into Peach Belt Conference play.

Junior Alexsis Brown and sophomore Taylor Beverly led the Falcons with 15 points each in the victory. Brown finished 6-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Beverly, who finished 4-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds in the win.

Trena Moore-Smith chipped in 10 points and a team-high three assists. Senior Carolyn Taite added six points, while junior Shay Bonner contributed five points.

Strickland finished with four points.

The Falcons opened the game with a 6-2 run, following a jumper by Brown and a pair of baskets by Beverly, in the first three minutes.

Brittany Weathers of West Alabama tied the game at 14-14 following a layup with 7:40 remaining in the first half before the Falcons went on a 10-2 run midway through the opening half. Moore-Smith capped the run with a 3-pointer off an assist from Bonner with just under five minutes left in the first half.

West Alabama cut the deficit to 24-21 following a 3-pointer by Weathers with just under one minute remaining in the opening half, but the Falcons responded with a quick 6-0 spurt following a pair of 3-pointers by Moore-Smith and Brown in the final 20 seconds of the half to carry a 30-21 lead into the locker room at the break.

Moore-Smith scored a basket just 10 seconds into the second half to give Montevallo its largest lead in the contest, 32-21. West Alabama slowly chipped away at the double-digit deficit before eventually taking its first lead in the second half, 52-50, following a layup by Weathers with 5:22 remaining in the game.

The Falcons came back with a 6-0 run, capped with a jumper by Taite with 2:59 left in the game, before West Alabama took the lead again, 58-57, with 51 seconds remaining in the game on a jumper by Tiarra Pritchett.

Strickland rebounded a missed jumper by Beverly with four seconds remaining and put it back for the game-winning basket.

Montevallo returns to action Dec. 15 as it hosts Columbus State University in its Peach Belt Conference opener. Tip off is set for 1:30 p.m. at BankTrust Arena.