Montevallo picks up first road win in overtime victory at Lander
FROM STAFF REPORTS
GREENWOOD, S.C. – The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team overcame a disappointing second half to pick up a 74-63 win in overtime over Lander University as it earned its first road victory of the season in a Peach Belt Conference contest Jan. 5.
Lander erased a double-digit deficit in the second half before the Bearcats’ David Pruett knocked down a 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to force the game into overtime, but the Falcons opened the extra session with quick 3-pointers by seniors Marvin Fitzgerald and Jonas Brown on their way to securing the 11-point win.
Senior Drico Hightower paced the Falcons (7-4 overall, 3-1 in Peach Belt Conference) with a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds as he posted his fourth double-double of the season, including his second double-double in four conference games. Hightower shot 5-of-8 from the field and 8-of-13 from the charity stripe in the win.
Fitzgerald and sophomore Troran Brown added 14 points each. Fitzgerald finished 6-of-10 from the floor and grabbed five rebounds, while Brown added six rebounds and a team-high six assists.
May and Jonas Brown were hot from beyond the arc in the opening minutes of the game, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers apiece to help the Falcons jump out to a 12-4 lead with 15:18 left in the first half. Montevallo took its first double-digit lead in the game following a pair of free throws by Hightower, which gave the Falcons a 25-14 lead with 8:24 remaining in the opening half.
Lander cut the deficit to eight points late in the half before Troran Brown knocked down a jumper with 10 seconds left in the first half to give Montevallo a 35-24 lead at the break.
The Falcons pushed their lead to as many as 15 points in the second half, the last time on a pair of free throws by Troran Brown with 12:04 remaining in the game, which gave Montevallo a 49-34 advantage.
However, Lander stormed back with a 19-2 run to take its first lead in the second half at 53-51 following a pair of free throws by Pruett. Following another free throw by the Bearcats the Falcons responded with an 8-2 run, capped with a pair of free throws by Cummins with 20 seconds left in the game, to take a 59-56 lead before Pruett knocked down a 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining to force the game into overtime.
Fitzgerald and Jonas Brown each drained a 3-pointer early in the overtime session to fuel a 9-0 run by the Falcons, which ended the Bearcats’ momentum and allowed the Falcons to begin Peach Belt Conference play with three victories in their first four conference games.
Montevallo returns to action with a trip to the University of North Georgia in a Peach Belt Conference contest Thursday, Jan. 10. Tip off is set for 6:30 p.m. CST.