Banner Elk, N.C. - Four Tornados scored in double figures and Brevard was able to hold off a late Lees-McRae rally as Vincent Dombrowski and Jermichael Tanner hit key free throws down the stretch as the Tornados recorded their first victory of the 2010-2011 season, 76-68.
Gaither Hendrix led all players with 17 points as the Tornados (1-2) converted 41.3 percent of their field goals in the game. Josh Roper added 16 points, six rebounds and four steals for Brevard, while Josh Jordan led the way down low with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Dombrowski added 10 points, hitting two three-pointers and went a perfect four for four at the free throw line as Brevard leaves Williams Gymnasium with their first win of the season.
Daniel Sepokas led Lees-McRae (3-2) with 16 points, 10 in the second half to help lead the Bobcats comeback attempt. Sepokas added a game-high eight rebounds and six assists, while Sam Youse also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points.
The Tornados scored the first six points of the contest on their way to opening the game with a 13-1 run as Hendrix put in five early points for the Tornados. Lees-McRae battled back with a 10-0 run of their own to cut the lead back to within two at the 11:17 mark as Gerry Hairston drilled a jumper to put the score at 13-11. This was the closest the Bobcats would close the gap as the Tornados went up eight at 24-16 on a layup by Jordan off the assist from Tanner at the 6:39 mark. Jordan closed out the half with a free throw and a layup as Brevard went into the locker room with the 30-21 halftime lead.
The Tornados lead extended out to as much as 26 points in the second half, going up 61-35 with 8:27 remaining following a Roper layup, but the Bobcats weren’t done, mounting one final rally, outscoring the Tornados 29-11 over the next eight minutes, cutting the lead back to within single digits at 72-64 with 35 seconds remaining in the contest, however free throws clinched the win for Brevard as Dombrowski went 4-4 in the last 29 seconds to put the game away as the Tornados escaped with the 76-68 victory.
For the game, Brevard went 26 of 63 from the field, while out-rebounding their opponents for the third straight game, finishing with the 46-45 edge. The Tornados also had 11 steals in the contest. Lees-McRae shot 34.8 percent from the floor, but improved their mark to 48.5 percent (16-33) in the second half as they attempted to comeback. The Bobcats however were betrayed at the free throw line, converting 15 of 31 attempts for 48.4 percent in their second loss of the season.
The Tornados finish up their season opening road trip this Saturday, December 4th, as they open South Atlantic Conference play by heading to Anderson, S.C. to take on Anderson University. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Trojans in Abney Athletic Center is set for 4 p.m.