MONTEVALLO, Ala. – Before their quarterfinal matchup with the USC Aiken Pacers in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, the University of Montevallo Falcons were awarded the regular season conference championship trophy. UM's men's basketball team then spent the next few hours showing exactly how it earned the title, defeating USC Aiken behind a balanced attack on the perimeter and on the glass.
The final score was 66-53, in favor of Montevallo (22-8, 18-2).
The game opened with the Falcons on top, as Larry Slaughter and Troran Brown scored the first eight points for UM and catapulted the home team to an 8-2 advantage during the opening moments of the contest.
Montevallo's lead would continue to expand, highlighted by a Brown four-point play that gave the Falcons a 10-point cushion, 18-8.
After 20 minutes, the Falcons held a 36-21 lead over the fourth seed in the Peach Belt Eastern Division.
At the half, UM held the Pacers to just 21.4% shooting from the floor, with USC Aiken going 6-for-28 from the field.
The 15-point lead that the Falcons held at the half would fluctuate through the second frame, going down to as few as 11 and going up to as many as 20, but the Pacers would never be able to close the gap to single digits.
All told, it was a 66-53 win for the Falcons, who will advance to the Peach Belt Conference Semifinals to take on the winner of the UNC Pembroke/Georgia Southwestern game that will take place tomorrow, March 1.
Montevallo dominated on the glass on their way to victory. The PBC Regular Season Champs outrebounded the visiting Pacers 41-32.
Shykeem Jackson led the Falcons in rebounds from his guard spot, grabbing 10 boards to match his 10 points.
It is the third double-double of the season for Jackson.
On the perimeter, the Falcons made a few big shots from beyond the arc, including at least one made three-pointer by each Jackson, Brown, Ryan May, and Bryant Orange.
Brown finished with 18 points, a team-high. He also had a game-high seven assists. The reigning Peach Belt Player of the Year leads the conference in both of those categories.
Slaughter finished with nine points and nine boards. Orange had nine points on 50% shooting.
May and Malik Fields each had eight points in the game.
The semifinal matchup between either the Braves or the Hurricanes will occur at a yet to be determined location at 6:00 p.m. next Saturday, March 7.