NCAA Tournament: Falcons Hold Off Bulldogs to Advance 96-87
Montevallo, Ala. – The 22nd-ranked and top seeded Falcons of the University of Montevallo held off a surging Bulldogs squad from Barton College in the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Southeast Regional. The Bulldogs hit 27-of-30 from the free throw line in the second half while the Falcons knocked down just 24-of-40 in a very physical contest.
The Falcons improved their record to 25-7 while the Bulldogs fell to 20-10. UM now advances to the semifinals tomorrow night in BankTrust Arena at 7:30 p.m. to face the winner of #24 Lincoln Memorial University and King College.
UM was led by senior D.J. Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa./Binghamton University) who poured in 33 points and grabbed a team high seven rebounds. He was 11-of-17 from the field while hitting just 8-of-18 from the free throw line. He also led the team in steals with three. Senior Antoine Davis (Washington, D.C./College of the Desert) added 21 points, six boards and six assists while hitting 5-of-10 from the field and 11-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Junior Drico Hightower (Augusta, Ga./Angelina College) added 10 points while going perfect from the floor hitting 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Senior DeMarcus Catchings(Arlington, Texas/Cedar Valley College) added nine points and seven rebounds.
BC was led by a quintet of players including leading scorer Gerald Boston who scored 21 while hitting 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Jaren Suggs added 19 points while Joseph Velez had 17 while going 5-of-5 from the field and 7-of-12 from the free throw line. Aaron Suggs added 12 points while hitting 6-of-7 from the free throw line and Keith Manley had 10 points.
The Falcons hit 61.9 percent of their shots from the field and 42.9 percent from three-point range. UM struggled from the free throw line hitting just 64.4 percent of its attempts.
The Bulldogs hit 42.9 percent from the field and just 21.4 percent from three-point range. The Bulldogs excelled at the free throw line hitting 78.3 percent including 90.0 percent in the second half.
The Falcons won the rebounding battle 35-30 but lost in turnovers as they had 18 and the Bulldogs had just 12. UM capitalized in the paint out-scoring the Bulldogs, 36-24 on the inside.
For the opening seven minutes of the first half both teams played even basketball but with 12:32 left in the period and the Falcons up 17-14, UM went on a 17-0 run powered by six points from Rivera, six from Davis and four from Catchings. The Falcons would maintain a large lead for the remainder of the first half but a 7-2 run by the Bulldogs to close the half cut the Falcons lead to 12, 42-30.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a jumper to cut the Falcons lead to 10 and just a few possessions later a jumper by Haley made it just a nine-point advantage. The Falcons would hold onto a five to nine point lead the rest of the half as the Bulldogs were unable to get any closer to the Falcons despite knocking down 27-of-30 from the free throw line in the second half.