Falcons top Francis Marion on another last-second shot

Published 9:19 am Monday, January 21, 2013


MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo women’s basketball team picked up its third victory of the season on a game-winning shot with under five seconds remaining when senior Zena Nasiloski caught a ball off the hands of sophomore Taylor Beverly and laid it in with 2.8 seconds remaining to lift the Falcons to a 66-65 win over visiting Francis Marion University in a Peach Belt Conference contest Jan. 19 at BankTrust Arena.

The victory gave Montevallo its 11th win of the season, including its sixth conference win, tying the mark for total wins both overall and in conference action during the 2011-2012 season. The Falcons improved to 11-6 overall and 6-2 in Peach Belt Conference play with the victory.

“I am so proud of the way our team never gives up,” said Montevallo coach Cindy Hilbrich. “We made some mistakes and didn’t play our best, but we never quit.”

Sophomore Taylor Beverly led the Falcons with 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the floor and a 3-of-6 performance at the charity stripe. Beverly also grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds as she posted her eighth double-double of the season, including her fourth consecutive double-double.

Nasiloski added 13 points, on 5-of-13 shooting from the field, and nine rebounds. Senior Alex Strickland chipped in nine points, on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, and four boards. Freshman Jacquelyn Thompson contributed seven points.

Senior Trena Moore-Smith and junior Shay Bonner finished with five points each, while senior Carolyn Taite chipped in two points.

Francis Marion jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but the Falcons began taking control midway through the first half. A layup by Nasiloski capped a 11-2 run with a layup at the 5:01 mark in the first half, which gave Montevallo a 31-20 advantage, its first double-digit lead in the game.

The Patriots used a 4-0 run in the final minute of the opening half to cut the Falcons’ lead to 35-34 heading into the locker room at halftime.

The margin between the two teams remained one point through the first seven minutes of the second half before Francis Marion used a 5-0 run, capped with a layup by Camille Dash with 8:32 remaining in the game, to take a 53-48 lead.

The Patriots pushed their lead to 65-57 following a jumper by Jasmine Williams-Hayes with 3:32 left in the game. Francis Marion continued to hold onto the lead until the final possession of the game.

Following a timeout, an entry pass intended for Beverly slipped through her hands to a waiting Nasiloski, who laid it in underneath the basket to cap a 7-0 run by the Falcons to end the game. Francis Marion turned the ball over on its final possession, keeping the Patriots from getting a shot off at the buzzer.

Montevallo returns to action Monday, Jan. 21 with a Peach Belt Conference contest against UNC Pembroke. Tip off is set for 1:30 p.m.