Slow start dooms Cougars versus Montevallo - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Slow start dooms Cougars versus Montevallo

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Columbus – Columbus State spotted Montevallo an 18-0 lead to begin the contest before eventually dropping a 75-64 Peach Belt Conference match-up Thursday night in the Lumpkin Center. 

It is the 12th consecutive loss for CSU to the Falcons as UM now holds an 18-5 advantage in the all-time series. 

For the second straight home game, Columbus State saw themselves down double digits without scoring as Montevallo netted the first 18 points of the contest.  Ryan May was the spark plug during the stretch connecting on three three-pointers while Drico Hightower netted four points and Travis DeShazior also hit a shot from long range through the first six and a half minutes. 

Darius Page broke the scoreless drought going 1-for-2 at the free throw line with 12:58 showing on the clock before Jermaine Morgan finally made the first field goal for the Cougars.

UM went up 20 on three different occasions in the first half, the final time at the 8:22 mark that had the visitors in front 29-9.

The Cougars would slowly peck away at the lead outscoring the Falcons 14-6 over the next seven minutes to cut the deficit to 12, 35-23.  UM went into the break ahead 39-25 behind their hot shooting as they were 14-for-27 from the field and 5-for-10 from long range.

Idell Bell knocked down a trifecta and Jahmad Saleem hit a jumper to begin the second half for CSU bringing the Montevallo advantage down to nine, the first time it was in single digits since the 16:04 mark in the opening half.  It would be the closest Columbus State would be throughout the remainder of the game until the final two minutes of play.

Down 14 with 3:21 remaining, the Cougars made their final push as they went on a 9-0 run dwindling down the deficit to five (69-64) with 1:32 left as Bell converted on a rare four-point play and Rory Miller netted the next five points. 

Unfortunately, Montevallo iced the game at the free throw line connecting on all four free throw attempts as CSU didn't score from that point on. 

Nick Turner and Jermaine Morgan paced the CSU offense with 11 points apiece, career highs for both.  Jahmad Saleem was also in double figures with 10.

Troran Brown led all scorers with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting while Ryan May and Drico Hightower scored 18 and 15, respectively.  The Falcons shot 53.2% (25-for-47) from the field including an impressive 8-for-14 (57.1%) from long range.

Columbus State will have a quick turnaround as they host Georgia Southwestern in another PBC match-up on Saturday, January 26.  Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at the Lumpkin Center.

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