Montevallo edges North Georgia in conference play

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team held off the University of North Georgia for a 83-79 win over the Saints in a Peach Belt Conference contest Feb. 2 at BankTrust Arena.

Hot-shooting from beyond the arc by senior Jonas Brown and sophomore Ryan May paved the way to victory. The pair of guards each shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range, giving the Falcons a 66.7 percentage from beyond the arc in the win less than two weeks after Montevallo set a new school record with 68.4 shooting from 3-point range in its 81-64 win over UNC Pembroke on Jan. 21.

The Falcons entered the week ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division II with a 43.9 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, less than one percentage point behind national leader Pittsburgh-Johnstown.

May led Montevallo (14-6 overall, 10-3 in Peach Belt Conference) with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. May also dished out four assists.

Sophomore Troran Brown added 19 points, on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and a 7-of-8 performance at the charity stripe, and a game-high seven assists.

Senior Drico Hightower chipped in 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line. Jonas Brown finished with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.

Junior Silas Mills contributed nine points and a team-high six rebounds off the bench, while senior Marvin Fitzgerald finished with five points and four rebounds.

The Falcons got off to their patented quick start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game following a 3-pointer by Jonas Brown and May and a layup by Troran Brown.

The Saints cut the Falcons’ lead to five points, 14-9, following a layup by Robby Goldsmith with 16:11 left in the opening half.

Montevallo used a 6-2 run midway through the first half to take its first double-digit lead in the game. May knocked down a 3-pointer with 12:15 remaining in the half to give the Falcons a 26-16 advantage.

North Georgia responded with a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to 29-26 following a dunk by Ishmael Hollis with 8:22 left in the half. Montevallo quickly took back momentum, leading by as many as 13 points down the stretch following a layup by May with 25 seconds left in the half.

Montevallo carried a 46-35 lead into the locker room at halftime following a jumper by the Saints’ Victor Holder with two seconds remaining in the half.

The Falcons pushed their lead back to 13 points following a layup by May on their opening possession in the second half. However, North Georgia went on a 8-0 run, capped with a jumper by J.C. Ward, to cut the deficit to 54-52 with 13:45 left in the game.

The Saints managed to tie the game at 65-65 following a layup by Corey Green with 7:30 left in the game before Montevallo responded with a 9-2 run to take back control of the game. Troran Brown drained a pair of free throws with 4:26 remaining in the second half to give the Falcons a 74-67 lead.

North Georgia couldn’t make it a one-possession down the stretch thanks to 4-of-6 shooting from the charity stripe by the Falcons in the final minute.

Montevallo returns to action Thursday, Feb. 7 with a home game against Georgia College at BankTrust Arena. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m.