AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team took the lead from No. 9 University of Montevallo less than four minutes in and never looked back to notch an 83-74 upset victory Wednesday evening in the Storm Dome.
GSW improved its record to 18-6 overall and 10-5 in the Peach Belt Conference. Montevallo had a seven-game win streak halted and fell to 18-3 overall and 11-3 in PBC play.
Ryan May gave the visitors their largest lead of the night, 6-2, with a jumper at the 18:13 mark of the first half. The Falcon advantage did not last long.
GSW proceeded to go on a 14-2 run over the following five and a half minutes capped by six straight points from Daryl Davis to take a 16-8 lead.
GSW took a 42-31 advantage into the break.
The Southwestern lead hovered around the double-digit mark for first nine minutes of the second half.
Then the 9th-ranked Falcons began to chip away. Da-Juan Cooper threw down a dunk with 7:16 left to pull Montevallo within four points, 56-52.
Bobby Glover answered with a 3-point basket on GSW's ensuing possession and pushed the margin back to seven points.
Cooper struck again a few minutes later, this time with a jumper, to pull the Falcons within three points, 63-60, with 3:42 remaining. It's as close as Montevallo would get.
Arnett rattled off five unanswered points to give the Hurricanes a little breathing room with just under three minutes to go and Southwestern drained 12 of 14 free throws down the stretch to seal the upset victory.
Montevallo came into the game with the second-best rebounding margin in the PBC (+6.6), but was outrebounded by GSW, 35-32. Southwestern improved to 13-0 this season when it finishes a game with the rebounding advantage.
The Falcons were holding opponents to 39.8 percent shooting, good for second in the PBC as well, but GSW finished the game at 51.9 percent. Montevallo shot 45.0 percent which was under its league-leading average of 48.7. The Hurricanes were efficient from the free throw line, connecting on 22 of 28 attempts (78.6 percent). Montevallo made 16 of 26 (61.5 percent).
Arnett finished with a game-high 24 points to lead GSW. He connected on 7 of 8 from the floor and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Johathan Brooks posted his 10th double-double of the season by scoring 19 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Davis added 16 points and five blocks. Jamon Hawkins scored 14 and dished out five assists.
May paced Montevallo with 13 points and nine assists. Cooper scored 12 while Silas Mills and Shykeem Jackson added 10 points apiece. Larry Slaughter led the Falcons with seven rebounds.
The Hurricanes travel to Augusta, Ga. on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. tilt with Georgia Regents University.