Tornados Drop Home-opener against Tusculum in Overtime, 86-75

Box Score

BREVARD, N.C. – The Brevard women’s basketball team dropped an overtime thriller to Tusculum, 86-75, in South Atlantic Conference (SAC) action on Tuesday night in Boshamer Gymnasium. The Tornados fall to 0-2 overall and in conference play while the Pioneers (1-4, 1-2 SAC) picked up their first win of the season.

Katie Williams scored a game-high 27 points, which was tied for 10th all-time at Brevard for most points in a game, while going 7-for-17 from the field and made 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. She also grabbed 11 rounds, which led the team. Madison Lenox went scored 25 points (8-for-20), had three rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Claudia Arcega scored two points off the bench but was a key factor on the defensive end with three of the teams eight blocks, which is tied for fourth most in a game by a Tornados team.

Hadara Bannister knocked had nine points, four steals, and three assists while grabbing nine rebounds for the Tornados while Taylor Hiatt grabbed 10 boards, seven of which came on the offensive side. The Tornados also tied the game seven times and had a 14-10 advantage on points off turnovers, forcing 20 turnovers and gathering 10 steals on the night. Tusculum's Rainy Story, the Virginia Intermont transfer, was held in check by the Tornados, only scoring two points in two minutes of action due to foul trouble in the first half.

The Tornados were down by as many as 10 points with 3:38 remaining in regulation before Williams and Lenox knocked down two straight three-pointers in a 1:34 span to cut the lead to four as Tusculum led 68-64 with 2:04 left. The Pioneers turned the ball over and Bannister connected on two free-throws to bring the Tornados within two points with just over a minute and a half remaining.

Story put the guests back up by four before Chelsea Turner knocked down a three-pointer. Tusculum went took a three point lead with 42 seconds left before Williams scored with 28 seconds to tie the game at 72.

In overtime however, Tusculum held the Tornados to just one field goal and three points as they scored the first basket of extra time 29 seconds in and never looked back.

In the opening half, neither team had a lead greater than seven points. The Tornados tied the game on three different occasions in the first half and also had a lead three times. The visitors jumped out to a 17-10 lead in the opening 8:07 but the Tornados stayed in the game and eventually tied the game at 21 2:29 later. Shelby Wolfe, who finished with six rebounds and five points, gave the Tornados their second lead on a good free-throw with 8:34 left before making a layup to give her team a three point edge. Tusculum, however, ended the half with four straight points for a 31-27 lead.

The second half was even closer as Tusculum never led by more than four in the first 10:57. Story though was huge for the Pioneers scoring 10 of her 17 points in the second half. Williams led all scorers in the second half with 13 points in 18 minutes of action. Tusculum then went up by seven points for a 66-58 lead with just over five minutes left in the game before the Tornados forced overtime, scoring 18 of the next 24 points.

Maelyn Cutshaw led the Pioneers with 18 points while Blakeley Burleson and Rainey each had 17 points. Kristen McMillion scored 13 points but had 21 rebounds to lead all players while her team also had a 60-47 advantage on the boards.

The Tornados will look for their first win as they play two straight road games this weekend. The first game is against North Georgia on Saturday in Dahlonega, Georgia for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Featured image courtesy of Tommy Moss.

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