Montevallo opens conference tournament against Augusta State

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team will face Augusta State University in the quarterfinal round of the Peach Belt Conference tournament Friday, March 8 at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center on the Columbus State University campus in Columbus, Ga.

Montevallo enters the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed in the West Division after capturing its second consecutive regular season Peach Belt Conference West Division championship, while Augusta State enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed in the East Division.

Tip off is set for Friday, March 8 at 6 p.m. CST. General admission tickets for the quarterfinal round are available at the door for $5 per adult and $3 per senior citizen and child under 12. General admission tickets for the semifinal round Saturday, March 9 and championship game Sunday, March 10 are available at the door for $8 per adult and $5 per senior citizen and child under 12. Students from any Peach Belt Conference school will be admitted free with a valid student identification.

Live video and live statistics are available at http://www.peachbeltconference.org/information/13bbtournament/index.

The Falcons fell on the road at Augusta State 75-73 in the lone meeting between the two teams this season Dec. 17.

Montevallo, the defending Peach Belt Conference tournament champion, has advanced to the conference tournament in each of its four seasons as a member of the conference. The Falcons, who are 6-2 all-time in the Peach Belt Conference tournament, defeated host Columbus State 70-57 in the conference tournament championship game last season.

Montevallo went on to capture the NCAA Division II Southeast Region tournament championship on its home court before advancing to the NCAA Division II national championship game for the first time in school history last season.

The Falcons also own three Gulf South Conference tournament championships after capturing the conference tournament crown during the 2003-2004, 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 seasons.

Sophomore Troran Brown enters the conference tournament among the Peach Belt Conference leaders in several categories.

Brown is currently fourth in the conference in scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game. The 6-foot-2 guard from Phoenix, Ariz. is fifth in the conference in assists with an average of six assists per game, which also ranks him No. 10 nationally in NCAA Division II.

Senior Drico Hightower is currently third in the conference in field-goal percentage with his 62 percent shooting from the floor this season, which also ranks him No. 14 nationally in NCAA Division II. The 6-foot-7 forward from Augusta, Ga. is eighth in the conference in scoring with an average of 17 points per game. Hightower is ninth in the conference in rebounding with an average of 7.4 rebounds per game.

Senior Marvin Fitzgerald, a 6-foot-5 forward from Milwaukee, Wisc., is currently third in the conference in rebounding with an average of 9.1 boards per game this season. Fitzgerald is also third in the conference with 10 double-double efforts during the regular season.

Sophomore Ryan May, a 6-foot guard from Fayetteville, N.C., is currently leading the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage with his 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc this season. Senior Jonas Brown, a , is fourth in the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage with his 45.5 percent shooting from the perimeter.

The Falcons enter the Peach Belt Conference tournament leading the conference in several offensive categories.

Montevallo is atop the conference with its 48.9 percent shooting from the floor this season. The Falcons are also shooting a conference-best 42.2 percent from 3-point range, which ranks the team No. 4 nationally in NCAA Division II.

Montevallo is limiting opponents to 40.9 percent shooting from the floor and 30.3 percent shooting from 3-point range, which leads the conference in both categories. Montevallo is currently third in the conference defensively after limiting opponents to an average of 67.4 points per game during the regular season.

The Falcons are also third in the conference in rebounding margin with a plus-7.8 rebounding margin per game this season.