MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The University of Montevallo men's basketball team opened its 2012-2013 season in dramatic fashion, downing visiting Stillman College 79-76 in overtime Nov. 13 at BankTrust Arena.
The Falcons, in their first regular season action since last season's NCAA Division II national championship game, let a double-digit lead slip away in the second half after struggling at the free-throw line before closing the overtime with a 5-0 run to clinch the victory.
Senior forward Drico Hightower led Montevallo (1-0) with 19 points in the victory. Hightower, who finished 7-of-11 from the floor, also grabbed five rebounds.
Junior Troran Brown flirted with a triple-double with 15 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in his first game in a Montevallo uniform. Brown finished 6-of-10 from the floor, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
Seniors Marvin Fitzgerald and Jonas Brown, along with sophomore Ryan May, contributed 12 points each. Fitzgerald posted a double-double with 12 boards, while Brown grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
Junior Silas Mills finished with eight points in the win.
The Falcons finished the first half 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, but hit just 9-of-20 attempts in the second half and left the door open for Stillman to chip away at the lead.
The Falcons led by as many as six points in the opening half, the last time at 22-16 on a 3-pointer by Brown with 8:13 remaining in the half.
Stillman tied the game at 29-29 with just more than four minutes remaining before Montevallo closed the half with a 13-6 run to carry a 42-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Falcons stretched their lead to as many as 16 points midway through the second half. Montevallo took a 56-40 lead following a pair of free throws by Brown with 12:40 remaining in the game.
The Tigers chipped away at the lead before tying the game at 69-69 with 0.6 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by D'aunaway Barnes.
Stillman College led by two points twice in overtime, but the Falcons tied the game on a layup by Hightower with 1:05 left in overtime and went ahead for good on a pair of free throws by May with just 30 seconds remaining.
The Falcons return to action Nov. 17 on the road at Anderson (S.C.) in a non-conference game at 5 p.m.