Lady Cougars win thriller over Montevallo - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lady Cougars win thriller over Montevallo

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Taren White nailed a running jumper as time expired to complete an impressive 78-77 comeback effort for the Columbus State Lady Cougars as they defeated Montevallo in Peach Belt Conference play Thursday night at the Lumpkin Center.

It was a much needed win for the Lady Cougars as they improved to 9-8 on the season and an even 5-5 mark inside the PBC. UM, who entered the night with a comfortable lead for the second seed in the PBC West Division, falls to 11-8 overall and 6-4 in conference play.

Montevallo held a 12 point lead with 4:45 left in the game after Zena Nasiloski hit a jumper to make the score 72-60.

From there, the Lady Cougar comeback effort began.  On the following possession, White dashed into the paint and made a contested layup while drawing the foul. She sunk the free throw to cut the margin down to nine.

Carolyn Taite of UM hit one of two free throws to increase the lead back to 10 before Kiesten Reid knocked down a three to get the hosts within seven, 73-66, with 3:23 to go.

After the two teams exchanged baskets, the Lady Cougars scored the next six points to regain a 77-76 lead with 19 seconds to go.  It was the first lead for CSU since 12:25 mark in the second half.

The run started with a White jumper with 1:35 showing on the clock before Chatil Bradford got a key steal and finished the play with a layup. The junior also got fouled and completed the three-point play to bring CSU with two, 75-73, with 1:03 left in the game.

After a defensive stop, Tandria Milton nailed a long three-point shot on a set play to give CSU the 77-76 lead with 19 seconds remaining.

However, Montevallo raced down the court converting a layup to jump back in front 77-76 with just 5.9 seconds to play. Taylor Beverly made the bucket while Alex Strickland picked up the assist.

The Lady Cougars inbounded the pass and ran up court before head coach Jonathan Norton called a time out with 2.8 seconds on the clock. Inbounding from in front of their bench, the pass went to White. Using a screen, the guard grabbed the ball from outside the three-point line and took a dribble before hitting the shot over two defenders as the clock expired.

It capped off a great game for the sophomore as White scored a team high 16 points going 7-for-13 from the field.

The first half was a tightly contested affair with neither team holding a larger lead than eight points. With UM in front 23-17 with 9:57 left in the first, the Lady Cougars went on an impressive 16-4 run to take a 31-27 lead with 3:43 left in the half. During the spurt, CSU had three three-point buckets including back-to-back trifectas by Milton.

Montevallo outscored CSU 11-6 to close out the half and took a 38-37 lead at the break.

Coming out of the break, Columbus State jumped out to a 49-42 lead just under five minutes into the second half. It was the largest lead of the game for the Lady Cougars.

However from there, the Falcons outscored the Lady Cougars 15-2 to go out in front 57-51 midway through the half. The lead eventually went to 12 setting up the exciting finish.

Columbus State had five players score at least 11 points led by White's 16. Tandria Milton, Shan Basley and Asha Alexander all scored 12 while Chatil Bradford netted 11. Both Alexander and Basley each dish out five assists.

As a team, CSU shot 43.1 percent (31-for-72) including making nine three-point baskets.

For Montevallo, Taylor Beverly scored a game high 22 points while four other Falcon players scored in double figures. Jacquelyn Thompson had 12 while Trena Moore-Smith and Zena Nasiloski scored 11. Alex Strickland was the final player in double-digits with 10.

Nasiloski recorded a double-double grabbing a game high 10 rebounds.

Columbus State will look to make it three wins in the past four games taking on Georgia Southwestern on Saturday. Tip-off is at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Lumpkin Center.

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