BLUEFIELD, VA - The Montreat College men's basketball team overcame a late deficit to force overtime before claiming a 110-107 victory over Bluefield College in a pivotal Appalachian Athletic Conference matchup.
The Cavaliers (19-6, 12-6 AAC) led in the early stages of the game but Bluefield would control most of the first half and went into the break up 57-51. Montreat would briefly regain the lead when Austin Butler (FR/Morganton, NC) connected on three free throws to make the score 66-65 with 13:23 to play but the Rams would respond and take back the lead. The Montreat deficit would grow to 10 with 3:03 left to play but the Cavaliers would not go away and cut into the lead in the final minutes of play. Consecutive three-pointers by Alonzo Mobley (SO/Lincolnton, NC) and Butler cut he lead to 95-90 with 1:49 to play. After a Bluefield score, David Everage (JR/Las Vegas, NV) matched it with a bucket of his own. Montreat then forced a turnover which led to Terrell Sheffey (FR/Yorktown, VA) knocking down a three-pointer with 13 seconds to play to make the score 97-95 in favor of the Rams. A subsequent Montreat foul led to free throws for Bluefield and they connected on the second to push the lead to three points with 11 seconds left in regulation. On the final possession, D.J. Caldwell (SO/Charlotte, NC) found just enough space in the corner to get off a three-point shot at the buzzer and it found the back of the net, knotting the game at 98-98 to force overtime.
In the overtime frame, the two teams would exchange the lead several times before Mobley knocked down a shot with 1:24 to play that put Montreat up 107-105. Sheffey would hit a couple of free throws to pad the lead to four before Butler hit a free throw in the final seconds to seal the big comeback win for Montreat.
In a game where numerous players came up with big plays at crucial times for Montreat, Alonzo Mobley was the star as the sophomore led the team with 36 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore hit 3-4 three-pointers and was 9-11 from the free throw line. Jeron Hemphill (SO/Morganton, NC) was 7-10 from the field and 4-5 from the line as he contributed 18 points and six rebounds while D.J. Caldwell and Terrell Sheffey each added 14 points. The Cavaliers shot 50% (38-76) from the field and shot at a 39% (13-33) clip from the three-point line.
With the win, the Cavaliers remain in third place in the AAC, just a half-game behind Reinhardt in the standings. The team will continue their end-of-season road show on Saturday, February 18th when they face Bryan College at 4:00pm.