|Montevallo Upsets Mount Olive, 84-70|
|Falcons advance to face USC Aiken in Southeast Regional Semifinal|
|Web Posted 3/13/10|
|View Release In PDF|
Ga. - Four players finished in double figures as the seventh-seeded Montevallo Falcons upset second-seeded Mount Olive 84-70 in the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Southeast Regional at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The victory by Montevallo sets up a rematch of the 2010 Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship with the seventh-seeded Falcons squaring off against the sixth-seeded USC Aiken Pacers at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 14 at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Falcons improve their record to 24-7 on the 2009-10 season with the victory over the Trojans, while Mount Olive concludes its 2009-10 campaign with a mark of 25-6.
Mount Olive scored the opening bucket on a three-pointer by Craig Hayes, but from basically that point on the first half turned in Montevallo’s favor with the Falcons going up by as many as 15 points in the first stanza.
Peach Belt Conference All-Conference first team performer Freddy Little was the catalyst for the Falcons in the first half, scoring 11 of Montevallo’s 40 first half points.
Montevallo connected upon 43.2 percent (16-for-37) of their shots in the first half en route to an 11-point 40-29 halftime advantage. The Falcon defense held the Mount Olive offense to just 33.3 percent (11-for-33) shooting from the floor in the first half.
Mount Olive missed 12 of their 33 shot attempts from the floor in the first half from beyond the arc where they were just 1-for-13 in the first half. Two Mount Olive players accounted for 20 of the Trojans’ 29 points in the first stanza with Craig Hayes and Mike Holloman scoring 10 points each in the first stanza.
Things changed in the inaugural minutes of the second stanza with Mount Olive opening the stanza on an 18-11 run to pull within four at 51-47 with 14:33 remaining in the contest.
The Falcons thwarted Mount Olive’s advances over the next four minutes by going on an 8-2 run to pull back ahead by 10 points with 9:15 left in regulation.
Montevallo would keep things above double digits for the majority of the final nine minutes in its eventual 14-point 84-70 victory over Mount Olive.
The Falcons ended their efforts on Saturday connecting on 45.9 percent (28-for-61) of their shot attempts. Montevallo shot 50 percent (12-for-24) from the floor in the second stanza.
Mount Olive hit upon 37.7 percent (26-of-69) of their shots in the game.
Little was the catalyst for the Falcon attack in the game, finishing with 20 points. He was 6-for-18 from the floor in total with all six of his field goals coming from beyond the arc.
Tauras Dortch was not too far behind Little in total points, concluding his evening with 18 points and seven rebounds. Gerald January and Cecil Coleman were the final two in double figures for the Falcons with January finishing with 15 points and Coleman registering 12 points. Coleman brought down eight boards, while January had five rebounds and a block.
Montevallo’s Mark Plaza did not finish in double figures with six points, but he did dish out a game-high seven assists.
Mount Olive was led by Holloman’s game-high 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. He was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Holloman also had game-best 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Hayes (16) and Kendrick Easley (15) also scored in double figures for the Trojans in their loss. (Box Score)
Montevallo Head Coach Danny Young
“I thought it was going to be a very difficult game for us because of their size, and the way they play. They are a team that likes to go up and down and we are a team that likes to control tempo. Our game plan was to come out and go the post right away and I think we did a very good job at doing that”
(On defending Mount Olive’s Kendrick Easley) "We just guarded him like we have guarded guys like that all year. We just tried to not help off him so much and crowd him. He is such a good scorer that we could not give him any open looks.”
(On rematch with USC Aiken tomorrow) “Hope it is another great game, physical game. They have great size and good shooters and so do we. I think it is going to be a good match up for us.”
Montevallo’s Mark Plaza
(On rematch with USC Aiken) “I am excited; we are excited to play them. First time we played them we went into overtime, and the last time they beat us down the stretch. They took our conference tournament championship title away from us, so we are excited about playing them.”
Mount Olive Head Coach Joey Higginbotham
“Tough game. It was more than a tough game; it’s just a tough situation. I am sitting beside two kids that I am going to miss dearly. They have done so much for this program. Game just did not fall our way. Montevallo executed and did what they needed to do to win. We fought but it just was not out day.”
(On returners) “We have a lot of good pieces coming back. Our expectations to the program are to be back here at the regional championships every year. The region we are in is very tough, but we want to compete in it.”
Mount Olive’s Mike Holloman
(On experience at Mount Olive) “It has been a great experience. The coaching staff has been incredible. The unity and togetherness of the program has been great.”
Mount Olive’s Kendrick Easley
(On experience at Mount Olive) “I have really learned a lot. Coach took a chance on me when nobody else wanted to. I have learned so much from my coaches, players and previous players.”