Montevallo women’s basketball drops heartbreaker at Columbus State
FROM STAFF REPORTS
COLUMBUS, Ga. – The University of Montevallo women’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 78-77 loss on the road at Columbus State University following a game-winning basket by the Cougars’ Taren White at the buzzer in a Peach Belt Conference contest Jan. 24 at the Lumpkin Center.
White’s game-winning jumper as time expired from the top of the key followed a basket in the post by Montevallo sophomore Taylor Beverly with 5.6 seconds left in the game that gave the Falcons a one-point lead. The Cougars erased a 12-point deficit in the game’s final minutes to escape with the victory over Montevallo.
Beverly led the Falcons (11-8 overall, 6-4 in Peach Belt Conference) with 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor. Beverly also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
Freshman Jacquelyn Thompson added 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc, off the bench. Seniors Trena Moore-Smith and Zena Nasiloski added 11 points each. Nasiloski also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds as she posted her fourth double-double of the season, including her second double-double effort against Columbus State.
Senior Alex Strickland chipped in 10 points and six assists, while fellow senior Carolyn Taite contributed nine points and nine boards off the bench. Junior Shay Bonner finished with two points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Falcons fed the ball into the post early in the game, which resulted in a 12-9 lead with 15:41 remaining in the opening half following a layup by Beverly. Montevallo stretched its lead to as many as eight points in the first half following a 3-pointer by Trena Moore-Smith with 10:08 remaining in the half, which gave the Falcons a 23-15 advantage.
Columbus State rallied, using a 6-0 run late in the first half to take its first lead in the game. Asha Alexander drained a jumper with 5:51 remaining to give the Cougars a 28-27 advantage.
The Falcons responded with a 7-0 run, capped with a jumper by Beverly, to take a 34-31 lead with 2:15 left in the half. The Cougars came back with a 4-0 run and led temporarily before late baskets by Thompson and Beverly helped the Falcons carry a 38-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Columbus State went on a 6-0 run early in the second half to take its largest lead in the contest. Chatil Bradford capped the run with a three-point play, which gave the Cougars a 49-42 advantage with 15:45 remaining in the game.
Montevallo chipped away at the deficit before taking back momentum with a 10-0 run midway through the second half. Moore-Smith completed a three-point play with 11:56 left in the game to give the Falcons a 52-51 lead before Thompson went on a personal 5-0 run. A 3-pointer by Thompson with 10:26 left in the contest gave the Falcons a 57-51 advantage.
Moore-Smith drained a 3-pointer with 5:15 remaining in the game to give the Falcons their first double-digit lead of the contest, 70-60. Nasiloski added a bucket on the next offensive possession for Montevallo to push its lead to 12 points.
Columbus State went on a 18-5 run in the final minutes to clinch the victory.
A three-point play by Bradford cut the Falcons’ lead to two points with 1:03 remaining and a 3-pointer by Tandria Milton gave the Cougars a 76-75 lead with 19 seconds left.
However, the Falcons quickly worked the ball down the court and Moore-Smith found Beverly open down low for the go-ahead basket with 5.6 seconds left in the game. Following a timeout by each team, White knocked down the game-winner as time expired from the top of the key.
Montevallo returns to action Saturday, Jan. 26 at BankTrust Arena with a Peach Belt Conference contest against Armstrong Atlantic State University. Tip off is set for 1:30 p.m.
The Falcons will host their Play 4Kay and 40th anniversary celebrations one week from Saturday during a home game against the University of North Georgia. Tip off for the Peach Belt Conference contest Saturday, Feb. 2 is set for 1:30 p.m. at BankTrust Arena.
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