Lady Cougars complete season sweep of Montevallo

MONTEVALLO, Ala. – Columbus State grabbed its second win over Montevallo this season with a 64-56 decision on the road on Wednesday night in Peach Belt Conference Basketball. The Lady Cougars improved to 17-5, 12-4 and clinched no less than a No. 3 seed in the PBC Tournament that will be held in Columbus March 6-9.

Montevallo, who is battling it out with Georgia College for the fourth conference tournament spot, fell to 7-16, 4-12.

Tae Smith scored over 20 points for the fourth time this season with a team-high 24 to lead CSU's offense. She was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Chatil Bradford contributed 17 points and Asha Alexander had 14. Three Lady Cougars led the boards with eight a piece: Bradford, Alexander and Carrie Washington.

The PBC's rebounding leader Taylor Beverly led Montevallo with 29 points and 16 rebounds. Shay Bonner added 15 points for the Falcons.

The game saw its fourth tie with 15:15 on the clock before the Lady Cougars began to pull away from Montevallo. CSU scored nine unanswered points over the course of almost four minutes to jump out to a 17-8 advantage. After Bonner made a jumper with 11:53 left, both teams were silent scoring for over three minutes.

Smith hit a trey and a jumper to bring Columbus State up to a 22-10 lead with 7:29 left in the half. Although the Falcons were able to put together a 6-0 run, Alexander scored four to give the Lady Cougars another double-digit lead of 26-16 with just over four minutes to go before the break.

A couple of layups by Montevallo kept the Falcons within 10, and the Lady Cougars went to the locker room with a 30-23 lead.

Despite shooting 50 percent (16-for-32) after the break, the Falcons were not able to outscore the Lady Cougars.

Montevallo's players came out fighting with an 11-4 run that tied the game once again at 34-all. The two shortly exchanged baskets before the Falcons slowly eased ahead of CSU by as much as seven points, 48-41 with exactly seven minutes left in regulation.

Smith scored eight points in the next 70 seconds to help propel CSU forward, and a pair of Alexander free throws followed by a layup by Britteny Tatum had the Lady Cougars in control once more, 54-52 with 4:35 remaining.

After the Lady Cougars scored six unanswered points, they were looking good with a little over two minutes left. With the Falcons fouling for possession, Alexander nailed three free throws in the remaining seconds to finalize the 64-56 victory.

The Lady Cougars look for a fourth consecutive win when they return to the Lumpkin Center on Saturday for Columbus State's Homecoming and final home game of the regular season against Young Harris.