Falcons headed back to conference tournament championship game
FROM STAFF REPORTS
COLUMBUS, Ga. – The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team defeated UNC Pembroke 81-73 in the Peach Belt Conference tournament semifinals March 9 at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center on the Columbus State University campus.
The Falcons (20-8) have advanced to the Peach Belt Conference tournament championship game in each of their four seasons as a member of the conference. Montevallo, the defending conference tournament champion and the No. 1 seed in the West Division, will meet USC Aiken, the No. 1 seed in the East Division, in the championship game Sunday March 10 at 3:30 p.m. CST.
“It was a huge win for us tonight,” said Montevallo men’s basketball coach Danny Young.
The Falcons, who lead the conference in field-goal percentage and 3-point field-goal percentage, shot 63 percent from the floor in the win, including 57.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Troran Brown led Montevallo with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, in the victory. Brown also dished out a team-high seven assists.
Brandon Winford led UNC Pembroke (22-9) with 14 points.
UNC Pembroke jumped out to a 18-10 lead following a jumper by K.J. Cooper in the first five minutes of the game. The Braves led by as many as nine points on two separate occasions in the early stages of the game, the last time on a free throw by Griffin Pittman with 13:15 left in the game.
Montevallo cut the deficit to one point heading into halftime despite foul trouble in the first half. Brown tied the game at 39-39 on a layup with 1:31 remaining before the Braves took a 40-39 lead at the break following a free throw with 42 seconds left in the half.
Hightower scored the first basket in the second half to give Montevallo a 41-40 lead with 19:37 remaining in the game, the Falcons’ first lead since the game’s opening minutes.
Alex Bradley knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:47 left in the game to give the Braves their final lead in the game, 60-59. Hightower added a layup on the other end of the floor to give the Falcons the lead back with 8:23 to play in the game.
Montevallo added to its lead late in the game, going up 79-69 following a pair of free throws by Brown with 42 seconds remaining in the game.