Brevard, N.C. - Gaither Hendrix recorded his fifth 20 point performance on the season and Drew Schauss hit a three-pointer with 1:26 left in the game to seal the victory as the Tornados overcame Daniel Sepokas’ 17 point performance as Brevard recorded their first victory in the Mark Prosser era on Monday evening in defeating Lees-McRae, 71-66.
Lees-McRae (0-5) brought the game back to within three points on a pair of Sepokas free throws, but Darius Moose scored five consecutive points before Schauss hit a three-pointer from the left corner with the shot clock expiring to extend the Brevard (1-7) lead to nine at 68-59. The Tornados closed out the game from the free throw line as Moose and Schauss both hit in the closing seconds as the Tornados won the game in the friendly confines of Boshamer Gymnasium.
Hendrix led all scorers with 20 points, hitting four three-pointers and added four assists as the Tornados shot 41.0 percent (25-61) from the floor in the game. Darius Moose added 13 points, narrowly missing out on the double-double with nine rebounds and added four steals. Moose was also 5-for-6 from the free throw line to lead Brevard as the Tornados shot 86.7 percent (13-15) as a team. Schauss added 12 points, hitting a pair of three-pointers and Gerel Simmons had nine points off the bench in the Brevard win.
Sepokas led the Bobcats with 17 points in 30 minutes, going 5-for-9 from the floor as Lees-McRae shot 42.9 percent (24-56) from the court in the game. Asad Lamot added 13 points to go with three assists, three steals and three rebounds in filling the stat sheet. D.J. Brown and Gideon Oji both added eight points apiece in the loss.
A Simmons three-pointer helped the Tornados build a 13-6 lead at the 14:50 mark as Hendrix contributed to the advantage, hitting his first two shots from behind the arc. The Tornados expanded the lead to double-digits with 7:13 left in the half on a layup by Aleksandar Vasiljevic off the assist from Michael Gist as Brevard built a 28-17 lead.
Lees-McRae battled all the way back to tie the game up with 1:03 on the clock on an Oji layup, but Schauss answered with a three-pointer and Jermichael Tanner hit a layup at the buzzer as the Tornados held the 35-30 advantage at the break.
Brown tied the game up with a three-pointer at the 16:39 mark as the teams tied the game up four times in the second half, the last coming on a Chavis Hamilton layup with 9:25 on the clock, knotting the game up at 47 apiece. Hamilton converted a free throw to give Brevard the lead, but Lamot and Will Lopez hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Bobcats the 53-48 advantage with eight minutes to play.
The Tornados pressed as Moose converted the old-fashioned three-point play and hit a short jumper in the paint to give the Tornados the 56-55 lead with 4:43 to play and back-to-back jumpers in the paint by Hendrix and Tanner advanced the lead to five. A pair of free throws by Sepokas brought the score back to within three, but Moose went on a personal 5-2 run, setting the stage for Schauss’ three-pointer from the left corner giving the Tornados the 68-59 lead with 1:26 remaining in the game.
Sepokas drove in for the layup and hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds, but Moose and Schauss went a combined 3-for-4 from the free throw line over the final 51 seconds as the Tornados recorded their first win in the 2011-2012 season, 71-66.
Brevard remains at home on Wednesday, November 30th, as they welcome Anderson University to Boshamer Gymnasium for the start of the 2011-2012 South Atlantic Conference season. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Trojans is set for 8 p.m.