Rally propels Montevallo past 'Canes
Second-half rally leads Falcons to First Round win
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- DeMarcus Catchings scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as sixth-seeded Montevallo withstood a furious second-half rally by third-seeded Georgia Southwestern for a 62-59 win in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament Southeast Regional at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Jervan Jackson also had 10 rebounds, Jonas Brown scored 11 points and Ryan Westbrooks scored 10 for Montevallo (19-10), which advances to Sunday’s 5 p.m. semifinal against Anderson (S.C.). Trayce Macon scored 18 points and Evan Mobley added 13 for Georgia Southwestern, which ends its most successful season in school history at 20-9.
After trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half, Georgia Southwestern went on a 15-2 run to close the gap to 60-59 on a jumper by Phillip Brown with 23 seconds to play. However, Montevallo answered with a wide-open dunk by Catchings, and Mobley’s potential game-tying three-point attempt was blocked by Antoine Davis in the closing seconds.
Despite having only eight players in uniform, Montevallo opened an early five-point lead, built it to 35-21 at halftime and never trailed in the game. The Falcons shot 52 percent (13-25) in the first half to Georgia Southwestern’s 28.6 percent (8-28), and dominated the boards with a 21-11 rebound advantage in the first half and 42-25 for the game.
One of those Montevallo rebounds, followed by a putback by Davis, gave the Falcons their biggest first-half lead at 33-17. Montevallo matched that margin at 35-19 on a layup by Catchings.
Montevallo opened its biggest lead of the game, 41-23, on a three-pointer by Brown early in the second half. A three-point play by Mobley with 11:33 remaining cut Georgia Southwestern’s deficit to 45-37, the first time the Hurricanes had been within single digits since the seven-minute mark of the first half. Montevallo answered with five straight points on a three-pointer by Westbrooks and a layup by Catchings to swell the lead back to 13.
The Hurricanes had one rally left, pulling within 58-54 on a driving layup by Talmadge Bell and a long three-pointer by Mobley. Montevallo went back up by six on a dunk by Jackson, the Falcons’ final basket until Catchings’ game-clinching slam.
Georgia Southwestern had swept its regular-season meetings with Montevallo, winning both by double digits. However, the Falcons seized control this time with a 9-0 run, on a Westbrooks jumper, four Catchings free throws and a Brown three-pointer, to take a 27-12 lead with five minutes to play in the first half.