Armstrong Second Half Surge Leads Pirates Past Montevallo, 58-56
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Armstrong Atlantic State University women's basketball team held Montevallo scoreless over the final three and a half minutes, erasing a 12-point second-half deficit for a 58-56 Peach Belt Conference victory on Thursday evening in Savannah.
The Pirates (10-6, 5-4 PBC) never led until Demisha Mills grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a putback with 1:54 remaining, giving Armstrong a 57-56 lead. Montevallo (6-9, 1-5 PBC) had a three-point shot by Teanna Boxley miss with 37 seconds left and a game-trying tie by Boxley miss with four seconds left.
The Falcons scored the game's first four points, and the Pirates were able to tie things up twice in the first half - the second coming on an Angelia Hill jumper with 2:26 left in the first half making the score 26-26. Montevallo scored the final four points of the half, however, to take a 30-26 lead into the break.
Montevallo would push that lead to 12 points on a three-point play by Shavonne Seymore with 7:25 left in game, which is when Armstrong would start its comeback. The Pirates would outscore the Falcons, 14-2, over the next three minutes, tying the game at 54-all on a basket by Mills. Two free throws from Taylor Beverly put Montevallo back on top, 56-54, with 3:31 left, but a free throw from Dee Hayward made it a one-point game with 2:44 left and then Mills rebounded a missed shot from Briana McFarland and floated in a four-footer in the lane for the go-ahead score. Hayward added a free throw with 16 second left for the final margin.
"I think our run started on the defensive side," Armstrong head coach Matt Schmidt said. "Getting some pressure and forcing turnovers. I think thats really what it came down to, getting defensive intensity and forcing them to make a mistake. That is where our 12-0 run started.
"I did not think that we executed very well offensively tonight, but I do think that Demisha Mills' energy is what really helped us get that win. Demisha brought energy from the time the ball was tipped to the final play. I though we did a great job rebounding the ball, Mauri Wells [12 rebounds] was consistent as always. Also, Dee Hayward was outstanding, I thought for the most part she brought a lot of energy and created some plays for us."
Mills notched her second double-double of the season for the Pirates with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while McFarland notched a career-high 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor. Hayward added a season-high 12 points off the bench.
Beverly led a trio of Montevallo players in double figures with 16 points off the bench on 7-of-11 shooting, while Seymore chipped in 13 points and McClure added 11.
The win was the second straight for the Pirates, while Montevallo suffered its sixth loss in its last seven games with the defeat.
Armstrong returns to action on Saturday, January 19th, hosting defending DII national champion and No. 2-ranked Clayton State at 1:30 p.m. at Alumni Arena.