FLORENCE, S.C. – The University of Montevallo men's basketball team (12-6, 5-4 PBC) dropped a heartbreaker at Francis Marion University (13-5, 6-4 PBC), 74-70. The Falcons trailed the entire game but had a chance to tie the contest with six seconds left. After missing a three point attempt the Falcons collected the offensive rebound and were fouled while shooting a three down 72-69. After making the first free throw the second missed its mark and the Falcons were forced to try and miss the third free throw and get the rebound. UM fouled on the miss which sent the Patriots to the line to seal the game.
The Falcons were led by junior Miles Beatty (Newark, N.J./St. Anthony's) who scored 17 points and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Junior DeMarcus Catchings (Arlington, Texas/Arlington) had his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He also had a team-high four steals. Junior Tyrell Coleman (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown) chipped in 10 points as well.
UM shot 43.1 percent from the field while FMU hit 42.9 percent. Both teams tied with 17 turnovers each while the Patriots won the rebound battle 38-30.
The Patriots opened up the game with a 15-5 run and never looked back. At the 7:23 mark the Falcons began a 13-0 run which cut the Patriots lead to four but FMU would not allow UM to get any closer as they built on their lead to head into halftime up 42-33.
The Falcons and Patriots battled for most of the second half with UM slowly chipping away at FMU's lead. With 7:38 to play a layup by Beatty cut the lead to three but FMU answered with five straight points to retake an eight-point lead.
With 2:35 left in the game and the Falcons down five junior Ryan Westbrooks (Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro) hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to three. After a pair of empty possessions Westbrooks was fouled again and hit two free throws to cut the lead to just one with 1:25 to play. FMU was fouled on the next possession and hit its free throws to go back up by three. After a missed three from the Falcons FMU hit one of two free throws to push its lead to four with 19 seconds left on the clock. Junior Antoine Davis (Washington, D.C./M.M. Washington) pushed the ball up the floor and was fouled and sunk both of his freebies to make it a two point game with 13 seconds left.
UM was forced to foul and sent David Turner to the line who hit one of two giving the Falcons a chance for the last second shot to tie the game. With sox seconds left the Falcons took that three which knocked off the rim and into Davis' hands. Davis found an open teammate who took a three while being run over by a Patriot defender. With two seconds left on the clock the Falcons had three free throws with a chance to tie the game. After a make on the first the second did not find the mark. UM purposefully missed the third but were unable to get the rebound which sealed the game for the Patriots as they hit their free throws on the other end.
UM will return to action Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. as the Falcons host Peach Belt Conference opponent Columbus State University.