Lady Cougars fall in PBC opener - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lady Cougars fall in PBC opener

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MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The Columbus State Lady Cougars scored the first four points of the game before Montevallo used a 22-5 run midway in the first half to down CSU 77-65 Saturday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference play. The game took place at BankTrust Arena in Montevallo, AL.

The loss drops Columbus State (3-4, 0-1) under the .500 mark for the first time since the beginning of the 2009-10 season.

"It was a nightmarish first half for us," said fourth-year head coach Jonathan Norton. "We couldn't find the bucket especially in that long run that Montevallo had."

"We need to find some confidence after these tough two losses this week. I think we can build off the second half that we had today and carry that momentum into Monday night's game against Clayton State," added Norton.

The Lady Cougars came out firing in the first half connecting on four of their first seven shots to take an early 10-8 lead over Montevallo with 14:48 showing on the clock.

However after the first media timeout, the Falcons went on a 22-5 run to race out to a 32-15 lead with 7:11 left in the opening half.

During the seven minute and 49 second span, the Lady Cougars went just 2-for-15 from the field and committed three turnovers that helped fuel the spurt.

The Lady Cougars tried to climb back into the game as Marina DeFoor made her first three-pointer of the game to cut the deficit to 34-22 with 4:10 left in the half.

Once again, however, the Falcons put together another impressive run outscoring CSU 15-2 to close out the half and took a 49-24 advantage into the break.

Coming out of the locker room, Columbus State scored the half's first seven points to get within 18 of Montevallo, 49-31, with 17:16 left in the game.

Like they did all day long, Montevallo countered with a run, this one a 16-3 spurt that stretched the lead to 65-34 and to a game high 31 points midway through the half.   

The Lady Cougars had their best stretch of the day beginning at the 10:45 mark as DeFoor made back-to-back threes before Shan Basley added a trifecta that began a 14-0 run that made the score 69-50. Kiersten Reid also knocked down a three-pointer during the stretch while Asha Alexander closed the run with a layup.

It wasn't enough though, as Montevallo held on to a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.

Shan Basley recorded her first double-double as a Lady Cougar scoring 13 points and grabbing a career high 12 rebounds in the loss. Marina DeFoor led the Lady Cougars with a season high 14 points going 4-for-8 from beyond the arc.

It was a tale of two halves for CSU as they shot just 28.1 percent (9-for-32) from the floor in the first before going 14-for-30 (46.7 percent) in the second 20 minutes. For the game, the Lady Cougars shot 37.1 percent (23-for-62) from the field.

Entering the game as the nation's best three-point shooting team, the Lady Cougars went 8-for-25 (32 percent) from three-point range.

Montevallo had a trio of scorers in double figures led by Zena Nasiloski's 17 points. Taylor Beverly and Trena Moore-Smith netted 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Nasiloski and Moore-Smith both recorded double-doubles for the Falcons. Nasiloski corralled 10 rebounds while Moore-Smith dished out a game high 13 assists.

As a team, Montevallo shot at a 40.3 percent (29-for-72) clip including a sizzling 51.3 percent mark (20-for-39) in the first half.

It was also the first time this season that CSU lost a game when out-rebounding their opponents as the Lady Cougars won the rebounding margin 43-42.

Columbus State will play one final game before the Christmas break taking on fourth-ranked Clayton State in Morrow, GA on Monday, December 17. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in at the Athletics & Fitness Center.

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