MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The University of Montevallo men's basketball team (19-7, 10-5 PBC) fell for the second time this season to the Bobcats of Georgia College and State University (16-8, 9-6 PBC), 61-52. The Bobcats out-rebounded the Falcons 39-34 which was key to GC's victory. The Falcons rank third in the NCAA in rebounding margin at +11.0 and the Bobcats stifled UM's big men holding them off the glass, giving UM a rebounding margin of -5.0. The Falcons were led in scoring by senior D.J. Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa./Binghamton University) who scored 14 points well off his season average. Rivera also grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Three of the Falcons top four rebounders were guards. Junior guard Jonas Brown (Tifton, Ga./Tift County) grabbed six boards without scoring a point while senior point guard Antoine Davis (Washington, D.C./College of the Desert) had seven rebounds, eight points, seven assists and three steals.
Senior DeMarcus Catchings (Arlington, Texas/Cedar Valley College) was second on the team in scoring with 13 while junior Marvin Fitzgerald (Milwaukee, Wisc./North Carolina Central) added 10 points and six boards.
The Falcons struggled from three-point range knocking down just 2-of-12 while hitting 20-of-42 from inside the arc. UM also struggled from the free throw line hitting just 50.0 percent of their attempts. The Bobcats shot 40.4 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from three-point range. They also excelled at the free throw line knocking down 83.3 percent of their attempts.
The game began with both teams trading baskets for the opening ten minutes. With the Falcons up 14-13 and just 11:55 left in the first the Bobcats began a 7-0 run to open up a six-point lead which at the time was the largest of the game. UM responded with an 8-0 run of its own to retake a two-point lead with 5:02 left in the half. GCSU answered with a three to stop the bleeding and retake the lead but the Falcons out-scored the Bobcats down the stretch 7-2 to take a four-point lead into halftime, 29-25.
Six-straight points by the Bobcats to open the second half gave GC a 31-29 lead. Both teams then began to trade baskets for the next eight minutes. With 11:04 left in the second half and the Falcons down one, UM went on a 6-0 run to take a 47-42 lead but the Bobcats immediately responded with a 12-0 run to give themselves a 54-47 lead with 5:47 left in the game. UM was able to cut the lead to just four points with 2:37 left but that would be as close as the Falcons would get as the Bobcats hit their free throws down the stretch to win 52-61.
The Falcons still hold a one-game lead over the Bobcats in the Western Division with two games to play. UM looks to continue its hold on the division with a road trip to Clayton State University on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.