Brevard, N.C. - Holli Flippo knocked down five three-pointers and recorded her second 20-plus point performance on the season, but Breonda Shannon’s double-double led visiting Anderson as Brevard fell in their South Atlantic Conference opener on Wednesday evening, 73-67.
Alissa Diaz broke a 66-66 tie in the final minute of the second half with a pair of free throws for Anderson (3-3, 1-0 SAC) and Shannon and Sierra Simpson went a combined 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final 20 seconds as the Trojans overcame Brevard (4-2, 0-1 SAC) in a back-and-forth game in Boshamer Gymnasium in the SAC opener for both teams.
Flippo led the Tornados with 20 points, going 5-for-8 from the three-point line and added a team high five rebounds in the loss. Micheala Watkins paced the Tornados defense with six steals and added 14 points, while Anna Schlobohm scored 10 points in the game for Brevard.
Diaz led Anderson with 20 points and added five rebounds, while Simpson scored 12 points and dished out seven assists in the Trojans victory. Shannon paced the Anderson rebounding efforts with 12 boards as the Trojans held the 34-22 advantage on the glass, and added 11 points in recording the double-double.
A layup by Watkins in the opening minute was matched by a jump shot by Amanda Parris, setting the stage for a competitive first half which saw the teams tie nine times and the lead change hands nine more times in the first 20 minutes.
Five straight points by Maci Siniard at the 3:00 mark broke the ninth tie of the first half, giving the Trojans the 30-25 advantage, and though Lindsay Brendle answered with a layup, Diaz knocked down a three-pointer and Simpson went in for the layup as the Trojans held the 35-27 advantage at the break.
Anderson pressed the advantage into double-digits, going up by as many as 16 at the 12:17 mark on a three-point play by Diaz, but Asheley Watkins brought the Tornados back to within striking distance with a floater in the paint at the 10:25 mark to bring the game within single digits. A layup by Tilde Ahlin and a three-pointer by Lauren Woods pushed the lead back to 14 at 61-47 heading into the media timeout.
Out of the timeout, Asheley Watkins hit a three-pointer from the top of the key and Brendle followed with a layup as the Tornados began a 16-0 run spanning the next four minutes, capped by a Schlobohm trey from the left wing as the Tornados took the 63-61 lead with 4:04 to play. Simpson answered with a jumper to tie the game up and the teams swapped the lead over the next three minutes as Micheala Watkins converted a three-point play and Siniard converted a layup.
With 44 seconds remaining, a foul sent Diaz to the free throw line and she converted both attempts to give the Trojans the 67-66 lead. A missed Brevard shot attempt and foul sent Shannon to the line, where she extended the lead to 69-66.
Watkins was fouled on the next Brevard possession, hitting one of her two attempts from the charity stripe, but Simpson and Shannon went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 11 seconds and Asheley Watkins’ three-point attempt rattled out as the Trojans held on for the 73-67 victory.
Brevard remains at home as they welcome #23 Tusculum College to Boshamer Gymnasium on Saturday, December 3rd. The Brevard Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is hosting their annual toy drive for the Toys For Tots organization at the game, with free admission given to any fan who brings a brand-new toy to contribute to the drive. Tipoff for the South Atlantic Conference game between the Tornados and the Pioneers is set for 2 p.m.