MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The 22nd-ranked and top seeded Falcons of the University of Montevallo trailed by 14 points with 8:37 left in the second half but a late 10-0 run and a clutch drive and lay-up by senior Antoine Davis (Washington, D.C./College of the Desert) gave the Falcons a 61-60 victory over #24 Lincoln Memorial University in the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Southeast Regional. The Falcons will now take on #14 Anderson University in the Regional Championship game on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m.
The Falcons improved their record to 26-7 while the Railsplitters fell to 26-6.
UM was led by senior D.J. Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa./Binghamton University) who scored 16 points and dished out five assists. Davis scored 14 points including the game-winning layup with six seconds left on the clock. He also tied for the team lead with five assists.
The Railsplitters were led by Vincent Bailey and Cam Carden who each scored 13 points. Bailey added seven boards to tie for the team lead. Desmond Johnson also added seven rebounds and seven points. Brandon Armstrong had nine points as well.
The Falcons shot 39.0 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three-point range. UM knocked down 12-of-17 from the free throw line including 7-of-10 in the second half.
The Railsplitters shot 43.5 percent from the field including 40.0 percent from three-point range. LMU hit 16-of-22 free throws in the game.
The Falcons won the rebounding battle 37-32 and made the Railsplitters turn the ball over 15 times which led to 18 Falcon points.
The Falcons came out on fire taking an early 15-6 lead but the Railsplitters answered with a 10-3 run to cut the lead to just three points with 10:05 to play. A jumper by Jonas Brown ended the run but the Railsplitters answered with a jumper from Bailey Vincent and a three-pointer from Cam Carden to tie the game at 21. Another jumper by Carden gave the Railsplitters their first lead of the game with 7:46 left. The two teams then traded baskets on the next few possessions until a Carden three and a pair of Vincent free throws put LMU ahead by three. UM answered with a 7-0 run to take a four-point lead with 1:10 remaing but the railsplitters had the answer in a pair of free throws by Jake Troyli and a Carden three-pointer as time expired which gave the Railsplitters a 35-34 halftime lead.
The Railsplitters shot 44.0 percent from the field including 50.0 percent from three-point range. LMU nailed 10-of-13 from the free throw line as well. The Falcons shot 46.4 percent from the field including 42.9 percent from three-point range. UM hit 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
The second half saw the Railsplitters slowly pull away. With 12:48 left and the Railsplitters up by four, LMU began a 10-0 run to take a 57-43 lead with just 8:37 left on the clock. An old-fashioned three-point play by Davis ended the run and gave the Falcons back the momentum. With a near sellout crowd rocking the Falcons began a 10-0 run with 5:09 left powered by Rivera who scored five. The run gave the Falcons a one-point lead with 32 seconds left on the clock. Rather than waiting for the final shot the Railsplitters drove to the basket with 19 seconds left and drew a foul. Brandon Armstrong hit a pair of free throws to put the Railsplitters up by one. On the final possession Davis found himself at the top of the key with nine seconds left on the clock. He used his dribble to get by the defender and worked his way into the paint. His layup found the mark giving the Falcons a one-point lead with six seconds left. The UM defense smothered the Railsplitters and LMU was unable to get off a shot as time expired.