AIKEN, S.C. – The Montevallo Falcons defeated fellow Peach Belt Conference foe Georgia Southwestern 97-88 in double overtime to advance to the round of 32.
In the first half, Montevallo relied heavily on their starting five. Troran Brown, Ryan May, Shykeem Jackson, Larry Slaughter, and Orlando Brazier scored all 40 of the Falcons' first-half points. Montevallo led 40-33 at the break.
May led the way in the first with 12 points, including two late three-pointers to close out the half, expanding a one-point lead to seven. May was 5-6 from the field in the opening half. He also led the team with four assists.
Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Troran Brown chipped in 10 points. The other three starters all had six points.
Georgia Southwestern never held the lead in the first half.
In the second half, the two squads continued to fight hard. Montevallo opened up the second frame on a 7-0 run, bumping their lead out to 14 points.
The Hurricanes battled back and were able to get to within a single point less than six minutes after they trailed by 14.
From that point on, the gap between the two teams never reached more than six, with Georgia Southwestern constantly nipping at Montevallo's heels.
An Alan Arnett layup with just under three minutes left in regulation evened up the game. It was the first time in the second half that the Hurricanes were able to force a tie.
Montevallo retook the lead and was up by five with 1:39 to play. Georgia Southwestern answered with five uanswered points and then was able to respond to a Brazier put-back layup with a Darius Redding jumper with four seconds left sending the game to overtime.
Brazier opened overtime with a dunk, but the momentum would be short-lived for the Falcons, as the Hurricanes responded with 12-4 run to put them ahead by six with 1:19 left in the extra period. Five uanswered points by Brown drew the Falcons to within one, but a Redding dunk with 19 seconds left put Georgia Southwestern back on top by three.
With the season on the line, May calmly sank a three-pointer with four seconds left, forcing double overtime.
In the second overtime, Montevallo lost Brown to a fifth foul, but the Falcon depth excelled with the PBC Player of the Year on the bench. After 50 minutes, Montevallo was able to finally secure the opening-round victory, holding the Hurricanes scoreless in the second overtime session and earning the 97-88 win.
Brown led all scorers with 27 points. In two previous meetings this season, Brown had scored a combined 22 points against Georgia Southwestern.
May had a big afternoon. He had 23 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field, 50 percent shooting from three-point range, and 100 percent shooting at the line. And, of course, he made the big three in the first overtime to save the season.
"I had to take over and put the game on my shoulders," May said.
Brown echoed the sentiment, saying, "My hat goes off to Ryan May."
Brazier had a fantastic game down low for the Falcons, scoring 20 points on better than 50 percent shooting. He also shot 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Kimani Key had a big impact off the bench, making two timely threes in the second half.
This was the second time the Falcons were forced into double overtime in the past eight days. In the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, Montevallo played 50 minutes with GRU-Augusta. The Falcons also won that contest.