Montevallo drops road contest at undefeated USC Aiken

Published 10:16 pm Sunday, January 13, 2013


AIKEN, S.C. – The University of Montevallo women’s basketball team saw a three-game winning streak come to an end following a 68-60 setback on the road at undefeated and nationally-ranked USC Aiken in a Peach Belt Conference contest Jan. 12.

The Falcons (9-6 overall, 4-2 in  Peach Belt Conference) managed to cut a 24-point lead by the Pacers, who entered the game ranked No. 4 in the latest USA Today NCAA Division II coaches poll, to just six points in the final minute of the game before USC Aiken held on for the win down the stretch.

Sophomore Taylor Beverly led Montevallo with a career-high 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the floor and a 7-of-10 performance at the charity stripe. Beverly, who also finished with five steals and four assists, added a team-high 10 rebounds as she posted her second consecutive double-double.

Beverly leads the Falcons with six double-double efforts this season.

Senior Zena Nasiloski added 14 points, on 6-of-11 field goals, and five rebounds. Fellow senior Alex Strickland chipped in 10 points and five boards.

Senior Trena Moore-Smith, junior Shay Bonner and freshman Jacquelyn Thompson contributed three points each. Moore-Smith finished with four assists and Bonner pulled down eight rebounds.

USC Aiken opened the game with a quick 9-2 run, but the Falcons responded with a 7-3 run of their own to keep the score close against the Pacers. A layup by Beverly cut the deficit to 12-9 with 13:19 remaining in the first half.

However, USC Aiken eventually stretched its lead to double digits late in the opening half, with a layup by Mia Antoine giving the Pacers a 24-13 advantage with 8:34 left in the first half. The basket was part of an 18-0 run by USC Aiken late in the half, which helped the Pacers build a 42-23 lead at the break.

USC Aiken stretched its lead to as many as 24 points early in the second half before the Falcons made a strong effort to make it a close game in the final minutes. Montevallo used a 16-5 run late in the second half to cut the deficit to 61-51 following a pair of free throws by Nasiloski with 3:54 remaining in the game.

The Falcons trimmed the Pacers’ lead to just 64-58 with 49 seconds remaining following a 7-0 run, built with back-to-back layups and three free throws by Beverly, in the final three minutes of the game. Following a pair of free throws by USC Aiken, Beverly scored a basket with five seconds left to cut the Pacers’ lead to 66-60 before the home team closed out the contest with two more free throws to seal the eight-point victory.

Montevallo returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 16 with a Peach Belt Conference contest on the road at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Ga. Tip off is set for 4:30 p.m. CST.