Montevallo Holds Off Trojans

Cornwell Becomes Fifth Player in School Hitory to Reach 1,000 Points

Box Score

MONTEVALLO, Ala. – No. 24 Montevallo held off a furious Trojan rally in the closing seconds, downing Anderson, 79-75, in non-conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at BankTrust Arena.  

Anderson dropped to 2-3 on the season, while Montevallo improved to 2-0.

Hot shooting enabled the Trojans to build a 13-point advantage with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half, but AU suffered a scoring drought of more than four minutes late in the frame and Montevallo closed the half with a 12-3 run to cut the Trojans’ lead to 34-30 at the intermission.  

Anderson manufactured the lead by shooting an incredible 86 percent (12-of-14) over the opening 13 minutes of action, and connected on all four of its 3-pointers.

The scoring drought continued into the second half, with Montevallo opening the second half with a 10-3 run to gain a 40-37 lead with 15:43 left in the contest. AU trailed by eight with 1:24 left and rallied to within three with just six seconds remaining, but was unable to finish the comeback. 

After a slow start by both teams, the Trojans scored the first four points of the game with AU’s defense holding the Falcons scoreless until Antoine Davis’ trey got MU on the scoreboard at the 16:18 mark.

Anderson junior Tyrell McDowell answered by sandwiching a jumper and a 3-pointer around a Falcon basket, pushing the Black and Gold lead to 9-4. With AU clinging to a four-point edge midway through the half, senior Kevis Cornwell knocked down back-to-back 3s and closed his eight-point outburst with a layup to  boost the cushion to 28-18 with 7:18 remaining in the half. Senior Oskars Ernsteins’ trey gave the visitors a 31-18 lead just 21 seconds later.   

The Trojans were unable to sustain their hot start and Montevallo reeled off seven straight points before Trey Britton hit one-of-two from the free throw line to slow the Falcon run. MU scored five more before AU freshman Denzail Jones hit a jumper with three seconds on the clock, setting the halftime margin at 34-30.

Anderson’s scoring drought continued into the second half, with Montevallo opening the final 20 minutes with a 10-3 run to turn the deficit into a narrow 40-37 lead with 15:43 left in the contest.

Nick Trull’s 3-pointer knotted the score at 42 apiece before the Falcons scored five consecutive points to take their largest lead of the contest. But AU refused to surrender, and closed to within 47-45 on Brandon Young’s old-fashioned three-point play.

Montevallo edged out to a 58-52 advantage with 7:16 on the clock, only to see the Trojans’ Brandon Young and Cornwell respond with five straight to trim the deficit to one with under seven minutes remaining. Despite misfiring on three of five free throws inside the final 30 seconds the Falcons managed to hold off the Trojan rally.

AU finished the afternoon shooting 55.3 percent (26-of-47), including 43.8 percent from beyond the arc and out-rebounded Montevallo, 34-26, but committed 29 turnovers.

Cornwell led all scorers with 19 points, while Young added 13 and Taylor Shugart chipped in 10 points in21 minutes of action off the bench. Trey Britton recorded a game-high seven rebounds. Cornwell’s layup with 18:32 remaining in the game gave the York, S.C., native his 1,000th career point, as he became just the fifth player in school history to reach the prestigious level. 

Anderson returns to the friendly confines of the Abney Center on Tuesday, when the Trojans play host to Georgia College. Tip-off versus the Bobcats is scheduled for 7 p.m.  

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