Falcons clinch winning conference mark with win over Hurricanes

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo women’s basketball team clinched its first winning mark in conference play since becoming a member of the Peach Belt Conference with a 75-60 win Feb. 13 over visiting Georgia Southwestern State University at Trustmark Arena.

The Falcons improved to 15-10 overall and 10-6 in Peach Belt Conference play with three conference games remaining on the schedule. The team’s 15 wins gives the 2012-2013 team the second-highest win total since becoming a full-fledged NCAA Division II member.

Senior Zena Nasiloski led Montevallo with a career-high 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor. Nasiloski, who finished 4-of-7 from the free-throw line, also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds as she posted her sixth double-double of the season.

Senior Taylor Beverly posted her team-leading 11th double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards. Beverly finished 7-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-5 from the charity stripe.

Senior Trena Moore-Smith, who entered the game ranked No. 12 among NCAA Division II players with an average of 5.5 assists per game, finished with 12 points and a team-high five assists. Senior Alex Strickland, who finished 4-of-4 from the floor, and junior Shay Bonner added nine points each.

Senior Carolyn Taite contributed four points off the bench.

The Falcons got off to a hot start, with a layup by Nasiloski capping a 8-0 Montevallo run to open the game. Georgia Southwestern cut the deficit to 8-4 with 16:01 left in the opening half with a free throw by Ottishia Burden.

Montevallo took its first double-digit lead in the contest with a layup by Nasiloski at the 8:28 mark in the opening half, which gave the Falcons a 27-17 advantage. The Falcons led by as many as 18 points in the first half, the last time following a layup by Taite with 2:25 left in the half, which gave Montevallo a 39-21 advantage. The Falcons carried a 39-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Montevallo pushed its lead to 20 points early in the second half following a jumper by Moore-Smith with 15:28 left in the game, which gave the Falcons a 52-32 lead.

The Hurricanes used a 14-5 run to cut the deficit to 57-50 on a layup by Danyelle Jones with 7:15 left in the game. However, the Falcons quickly pushed their lead back to double digits following a three-point play by Strickland with 6:09 left in the game and didn’t let up down the stretch.

Montevallo returns to action Saturday, Feb. 16 with a Peach Belt Conference contest against undefeated Clayton State University at Trustmark Arena. The Lakers enter the contest ranked No. 3 in the latest USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II women’s basketball poll.

Tip off is set for 1:30 p.m.