Falcons avenge loss to Clayton State on national stage

Published 3:36 pm Saturday, February 16, 2013

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo Falcons broke away in the second half to take a 63-50 Peach Belt Conference victory over the Clayton State Lakers Feb. 16 at UM’s Trustmark Arena.

“It was a great win for us,” said Falcons head coach Danny Young. “I thought we played really hard. We didn’t come out flat. We competed tonight.

The Falcons’ win avenged a 2-point loss to Clayton Feb. 9 and was televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network. The contest was also the first nationally televised game to be held at the University of Montevallo. The Falcons have been on national TV three other times – against Bellarmine University and Western Washington University in the NCAA Division II tournament last season and in the 2009-2010 season at Augusta State University.

Young said that having the national exposure does help the Falcons when it comes to recruiting talent to come to Montevallo.

“We had a lot of guys watching,” Young said with a laugh. “Hopefully they like what they saw.”

The game was a part of the University of Montevallo’s Family Day celebration. Trustmark Arena was filled to capacity with an attendance of 2,175.

“Our crowd was fantastic,” Young said. “They livened us up and hopefully we can carry that over into the rest of the year.”

Montevallo jumped out to a 13-5 lead early in the first half on a 13-3 run, then went on a quick 7-0 midway through the half to take their largest lead of the game, 20-9 with more than eight minutes until the half.

Clayton State began to chip away at the Falcons’ advantage and erased the deficit on a 15-3 run late in the half to take a 24-23 lead with 1:41 left until intermission.

The Falcons’ Troran Brown scored two quick baskets to end the first half and gave Montevallo a 26-24 lead at the break.

The Lakers scored the first basket of the second half to tie the game at 24, but that would be as close as Clayton State would get.

Montevallo answered with a 25-1 run capped when Jonas Brown made a 3-pointer and was fouled. Brown made the free throw to convert the 4-point play to give the Falcons their largest lead of the contest, 24 points, with 10 minutes to play.

“We came out and played really hard in the second half, and I think that was the key to us winning,” said Young.

Clayton State cut away at the deficit, but Montevallo held on for the 63-50 conference victory.

The Falcons’ defense held Clayton State to just 35.6 percent shooting from the field while out-rebounding the Lakers 47-22.

Drico Hightower led Montevallo with a double-double – scoring 19 points with 13 rebounds. Jonas Brown scored 16 points while going 4-for-5 from beyond the arch. Troran Brown finished with 13 points and a team-high eight assists. Ryan May added 10 points for the Falcons.

Charles Shedrick led Clayton State with 10 points.

Montevallo will travel to Georgia College Feb. 23 and then will return to Trustmark Arena for its regular season finale against Young Harris March 2 at 3:30 p.m.