PBC Tournament - Montevallo Stuns Top-Ranked Augusta State 81-77

PBC Tournament - Montevallo Stuns Top-Ranked Augusta State 81-77


AIKEN, SC – Junior guard Tauras Dortch scored a team-high 22 points, including an unconventional three-point play in the final minute, to lead the University of Montevallo to an 81-77 upset of top-ranked Augusta State University, Saturday evening (March 6) in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Falcons, in their first year in the PBC, improve to 23-6 and advance to the tournament title game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against either USC Aiken or Clayton State University.

Following Dortch was senior guard Freddy Little who scored 17 points before fouling out. Junior 6-5 forward Cecil Coleman added 13 points, while Gerald January tallied nine points and 10 rebounds.

Senior guard Ben Madgen, the PBC’s all-time scoring leader, registered a career-high 34 points to pace the Jaguars (26-3). Madgen hit on 12-of-17 shots, including 7-of-8 three-point attempts. Forward Fred Brathwaite scored 20 points and hauled down 14 rebounds.

ASU must now await an at-large bid to the nation tournament field, to be announced on Sunday night.

The Jaguars took an early five-point lead, but Montevallo rallied to take a 24-23 lead on a jumper by January. The Falcon lead would swell to double figures before Montevallo left the floor at halftime with a 45-36 advantage. Montevallo shot a sizzling 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the field over the opening 20 minutes.

The Falcons went up 54-42 following a technical foul shot with 16:25 remaining. ASU responded with a 12-0 run to tie the game. Franck Ndongo capped the run with a layup at the 11:35 mark.

With 3:08 left, the score was deadlocked at 66-66. Montevallo surged ahead 75-69 following two free throws by Mark Plaza with 1:10 on the clock. A Madgen three-pointer cut the deficit in half (75-72) with 59 ticks left. With Montevallo owning a 76-72 lead and 41 seconds remaining, Dortch went to the free throw line. He made the first shot, missed the second attempt, but grabbed his own rebound and converted the layup to put the Falcons up 79-72.

While the Falcons cooled off slightly in the second stanza, they still ended the game shooting 65.1 percent from the floor, including 7-of-12 from beyond the three-point arc.

PBC Men’s Semifinal #1 – Montevallo vs. Augusta State

Montevallo Head Coach Danny Young
“That was a heck of game. Both teams played as hard as they could. We made a lot of shots tonight and we were fortunate to come out on top.”

“We executed real well down the stretch. We got out and ran tonight, and that helped us with our halfcourt offense. Augusta State is so well-coached, they play hard and that Madgen is the Player of the Year in the league for a reason.”

“Tonight, we were patient and it worked for us. Our bench did a great job.”

Montevallo’s Taurus Dortch

(On the 3-point basket to give you the lead) “It was an offensive rebound, and I saw the opening and I had to make it. This is what I live for and it went in.”

Augusta State Head Coach Dip Metress
“Give all the credit in the world to Montevallo – they played excellent. We’ve never had a team shoot 65 percent against us all year, and it had a lot to do with what they did. We had a hard time guarding them off the bounce and we couldn’t keep them off the free throw line with their ability to drive the ball.”

“We didn’t play well. They played well, and we didn’t guard them. If this loss helps us next Saturday, we’ll be very excited that night.”

“We could not guard them. If a team shoots like that, you are not going to win. They are 23-6 for a reason. They came in getting disrespected in the region polls, and they did a great job. If a team shoots that high a percentage, you will go home quick. They scored more in the first half than they did at our place.”

Augusta State’s Ben Madgen
“It’s very disappointing. We didn’t come to play today, but we will learn from this mistake and hopefully it will put us in good shape for regionals. That is what we are focusing now.”