MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- Tied at the half at 30 each, the Auburn Montgomery men's basketball team was outscored by 13 points in the deciding second half, as it fell to Freed-Hardeman 69-56 in its final regular season game of 2012 Monday evening.
The Warhawks (4-6) led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but a furious 16-5 Lions' rally to close the half sent the teams to the locker room tied. With the win, FHU improved to 9-6 on the season.
"They beat us on the boards pretty bad," head coach Larry Chapman said. "They outrebounded us 47-30 and 25-15 on the offensive boards. We did not do a good job of making shots. You cannot win games like that. We played ugly basketball tonight and need to get better."
AUM was led by junior Brett Person's game-high 20 points, while sophomore Quay Davis added 12 points. Junior Chris Bell contributed nine points and six rebounds off the bench. Person also added three assists and three blocked shots.
"Chris played hard for us off the bench," Chapman said. "His minutes were productive and it was nice to see him play well."
The Warhawks started the contest strong, taking a game-high 12 point lead, 16-4, following a three-point play by junior Reshad Bickham with 12:02 remaining in the half.
However, the Lions answered with eight consecutive points to cut the margin to four, with Reginald Gilmore scoring all eight points in the spurt.
AUM countered with seven straight of its own, capped by a Person lay-up with 6:34 remaining before the intermission. The Warhawks maintained the lead for the duration of the period, but Gilmore slid behind the AUM zone defense to score with three seconds remaining to tie the score at 30-30.
In the second half, the Lions opened with a 9-4 spurt and never looked back, pushing their lead to as many as 15 in the second half to earn the win.
AUM converted 39.3 percent of its shots from the game, but just 35.5 percent in the decisive second half. The Warhawks also turned the ball over 18 times and were controlled on the glass, 47-30, by the Lions.
While the shots struggled to fall for the Warhawks, FHU knocked down 42.4 percent for the game, including 44.8 percent in the second period. The Lions also hit five 3-pointers in the second half and hit eight free throws, while the Warhawks attempted just six.
Gilmore paced the Lions with 16 points and added seven rebounds to lead four players in double figures. Verkeneo Mann and Orlando Bass each chipped in 12 points, while Chandler Mack added 11 points off the bench. As a team, FHU outscored AUM 27-11 from the bench.
The Warhawks will close out the 2012 year with on Saturday, December 29, when they take on Alabama State University in an exhibition contest at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.