Davis’ Free Throws Send Falcons to First Final Four in Program History
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Senior Antoine Davis (Washington, D.C./College of the Desert) hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left on the clock to lift the 22nd-ranked University of Montevallo men's basketball team (28-7) over 13th-ranked Metropolitan State College of Denver (25-7) in the Elite Eight, 67-65. The win advances the Falcons to their first NCAA Division II Final Four. The Falcons trailed for much of the game but a late run and a pair of clutch free throws by Davis moved the Falcons into the semifinals to face defending National Champion and fourth-ranked Bellarmine University.
The game will be broadcast on CBS College Sports Network at 9:30 (EST).
The Falcons were led by Davis who scored a team-high 18 points, dished out a season and career-high 11 assists and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Senior D.J. Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa./Binghamton University) added 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks.
Junior Drico Hightower (Augusta, Ga./Angelina College) added 11 points including eight in the final 5:23 of the game. Freshman Ryan May (Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian) added 10 points including eight of the Falcons first 10 points of the game.
Metro was led by Reggie Evans who scored 20 points while Demetrius Miller added 16. Paul Brotherson had a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards.
The Falcons shot 47.3 percent from the field in the game including 40.0 percent from three-point range. UM struggled from the free throw line throughout the game but hit the free throws in the end when it counted. UM shot just 56.3 from the charity stripe.
The Roadrunners shot 37.1 percent from the field including 29.2 percent from three-point range. Metro was nearly perfect at the free throw line knocking down 12-of-15.
Metro out-rebounded the Falcons 38-35 including grabbing 21 offensive boards.
The Falcons opened the first half on an 8-2 run powered by a pair of three-pointers. The Roadrunners responded with six-straight points to tie the game at eight off back-to-back three-pointers by Demetrius Miller. UM ended the run with a lay-up by May. Hightower hit a lay-up to put the Falcons up by four but at the 15:14 mark and the Falcons up 14-10, the Roadrunners began a 12-0 run to take an eight point lead with just over 11 minutes to play. A lay-up by senior DeMarcus Catchings (Arlington, Texas/Cedar Valley College) ended the scoring drought for the Falcons put a three-pointer by Miller extended the Roadrunners lead to nine. UM slowly began to chip away at the lead and with 30 seconds left on the clock a dunk by Catchings cut it to just one. The Roadrunners turned it over on their next possession but UM was unable to convert on a last-second jumper as they entered the half down, 34-33.
Metro State shot 40.6 percent from the field including 33.3 percent from beyond the three-point line. The Roadrunners were a perfect 3-for-3 at the free throw line.
The Falcons shot 53.8 percent from the field including 50.0 percent from three-point range. UM was 0-for-2 at the free throw line in the first half.
Metro out-rebounded the Falcons 17-15 in the first half including grabbing 11 offensive boards. The Falcons rank among the nations best at rebounding margin but it was the Roadrunners who controlled the glass in the first half.
After a defensive stop on Metro's opening possession a running-jumper by Davis gave the Falcons their first lead since the 14:49 mark of the first half. A small 4-0 run by the Roadrunners gave them the lead once again. Metro held the lead for almost the entire second half with the Falcons sitting one or two possessions behind. With 2:40 remaining and the Falcons down 62-56, UM began a 7-0 run to take a 63-62 lead with just over a minute to play.
The Roadrunners were fouled on the next play and Miller knocked down 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game with 45 second left. On UM's next possession Hightower worked his way in for a lay-up to retake the lead. The Roadrunners answered with a Jonathan Morse lay-up to tied the game again with just 13 seconds left on the clock. On UM's final possession Davis had the ball at the top of the key with just under 10 seconds to play. He made a dash to the right and nearly made a running jumper as he was fouled but it did not go down. Metro was called for the foul which sent Davis to the line for two. He was just 2-of-6 from the free throw line in the game at that point but he was unfazed as he nailed both.
The Roadrunners had one last chance as they inbounded the ball from under the basket with three seconds left. The inbounder heaved the ball past halfcourt where Rivera jumped up and snagged the pass to seal the game, 67-65.