03/08/10 — Trojans selected to play Montevallo

View Archive

Trojans selected to play Montevallo

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 8, 2010 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Joey Higginbotham contacted Montevallo (Ala.) University during the offseason in hopes of putting the Peach Belt school on the schedule this season.

However, the two coaches couldn't find a compatible date on their respective schedules.

The NCAA selection committee provided some assistance late Sunday evening. The second-seeded Trojans and seventh-seeded Falcons will meet in opening-round action in the 2010 Division II Southeast Regional on Saturday at Augusta State (Ga.) University.

The game time has not been determined.

Mount Olive (25-5 overall) clinched the Conference Carolinas' automatic bid with a last-second victory over Anderson (S.C.) University on Sunday afternoon at Kornegay Arena. Lamonte Theus' traditional three-point play secured an 83-80 win and propelled the Trojans into the postseason for the sixth time in the past seven years.

"Winning the regular season and conference tournament was a great achievement," said Higginbotham, who hosted a selection show party at his home.

"We're happy with the opportunity and the guys deserve everything they get. We're excited to continue our season and we'll take it one day at a time."

Augusta State drew the No. 1 seed and faces eighth-seeded Brevard, which upset Catawba in the South Atlantic Conference tournament final. Catawba received the No. 4 seed and plays Anderson, which is making its first-ever postseason appearance in program history.

Third-seeded Georgia College and sixth-seeded USC Aiken, the Peach Belt automatic qualifier, complete the eight-team field.

"I think this is one of the toughest regions in the country," said Higginbotham. "We'll see how the ball falls and hopefully we'll come out on top."

The regional winner advances to the Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass. The Trojans, who are 21-1 since Jan. 1, advanced to the Elite Eight in 2005 with Higginbotham as an assistant coach.