Brevard, N.C. - Tony Davis led the Wolves with 31 points and 14 rebounds as Newberry overcame a 29 point performance by Josh Roper in Boshamer Gymnasium, as the Tornados fell at home in conference play on Wednesday night, 91-86.
Roper led Brevard (7-7, 5-4 SAC) with hit 29 points, adding six rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots as the Tornados shot 45.3 percent (29-64) from the floor in the contest. Drew Schauss added 13 points, going a perfect five of five from the free throw line and Ryson Felder added a pair of three-pointers on his way to 12 points, as the Tornados fell in their fourth straight contest.
Davis’ double-double led the Wolves (8-9, 3-6 SAC) on the evening as 10 Newberry players scored in the contest. Ray Robinson added 14 points in 14 minutes’ action and Brandon Riley had 10 points and five rebounds as the Wolves converted 47.8 percent (32-67) of their field goal attempts in the game.
Roper scored the first four points of the game as the Tornados went up 4-0 after a pair of made free throws at the 19:12 mark, but the Wolves battled back, tying it up on a breakaway dunk by Brunes Charles as the teams battled early in the first half. A Roper layup put the Tornados up 6-4, but the Wolves scored the next eight points, capped by a pair of free throws by Davis as Newberry held the 12-6 advantage with 15:08 remaining in the opening half.
Brevard steadily chipped away at the deficit, eventually taking the 22-21 lead on a Roper three-pointer off the assist from Gaither Hendrix with 8:50 on the clock. Newberry, however, continued to employ a successful pressure defense against the Brevard offense, rebuilding the lead out to 32-25 as Davis converted a free throw attempt with 5:37 to play, giving the Wolves their largest lead of the first half.
The Tornados had one final run at the end of the half, tying the score up at 41 apiece as Schauss drove in for the layup and hit the free throw to convert the traditional three-point play with 1:17 on the clock. A turnaround jumper in the paint by Robinson gave the Wolves the 43-41 lead with time winding down, but the Tornados took the lead into the locker room as Darius Moose connected with Hendrix, and the junior guard drained the three-pointer to put Brevard up 44-43 at the break.
A Felder three-pointer broke the scoreless tie in the second half with 18:37 on the clock to give the Tornados their largest lead of the game at 47-43, but Newberry tied it up with baskets on two of their next three possessions as Chris Reynolds went in for the layup off the assist from Patrick Ryan and Brandon Riley also took one to the rim as the Wolves tied it up at 47 with 16:57 on the clock.
Newberry built their largest lead of the ball game at 69-56 with 11:01 left in the game on a free throw by Riley, but the Tornados continued to battle back through their defensive play, making one last run at the Wolves.
Starting at the 5:55 mark, with Brevard down 78-68 after a made free throw by Newberry’s Antoni Magdos, the Tornados went on a 9-0 run, as Roper hit a jumper in the lane and converted a free throw after the foul. This began a stretch of Brevard’s defense taking over the game as Josh Jordan blocked a shot in the lane and Roper added two steals and a blocked shot of his own as the Tornados stifled the Wolves offense on a series of five straight possession as the final Roper steal turned into a Schauss breakaway layup, cutting the lead down to one at 78-77 with 4:20 on the clock.
This was as close as the Tornados would get as Robinson drained a pair of free throws to put the Wolves back up by three and Ryan closed out the game with four straight free throws after a Brevard turnover with under 10 seconds remaining as the Tornados fell, 91-86.
Neither team was able to find the range behind the arc as Newberry hit 20.0 percent (2-10) of their three-point attempts and Brevard was held to 19.2 percent (5-26) in the game, but the Wolves won the rebounding battle, 45-35, and outscored the Tornados 50-40 in the paint to take home the win.
The Tornados continue with their conference home stand on Saturday, January 29th, as they host Anderson University. Brevard took home the 85-84 victory in the Abney Athletic Center on December 4th against the Trojans and will look to complete the season sweep. Tipoff between the SAC opponents is set for 4 p.m.