Brevard, N.C. - Lindsay Brendle paced the Brevard offense with a game high 20 points and Lacey Singletary added 10 points off the bench, but late clutch free throw shooting by Kendal Baxter led visiting Tusculum College over the Tornados in South Atlantic Conference action on Saturday afternoon, 68-61.
Tusculum (5-0, 1-0 SAC) controlled the battle of the boards in the game, recording 58 rebounds, 22 offensively in recording 21 second chance points for the Pioneers as three players pulled down double-digit rebounds, led by Linda Aughburns with a game-high 19 boards. The Tornados (4-3, 0-2 SAC) full-court pressure kept the game close as Brevard forced 25 Pioneers’ turnovers, leading to 21 points for Brevard, led by four steals apiece by Brendle and Micheala Watkins in the loss.
Brendle was 7-for-14 from the floor in recording her first 20 point performance on the season as the Tornados were 24-for-60 from the floor in shooting 40.0 percent in the game. Brendle also led the team with six rebounds, while Anna Schlobohm contributed four rebounds and nine points. Singletary’s 10 points were a career high for the freshman forward and she added two blocked shots in the Tornados efforts.
Baxter led the Pioneers with 19 points, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line, while Staci Hicks and April McCann both recorded double-doubles with Hicks recording 18 points and 12 boards, while McCann had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Aughburns narrowly missed out on the double-double, scoring nine points to go with her 19 rebounds in the victory.
Tusculum scored the first four points of the game as Hicks and Baxter both recorded layups, but Watkins followed with a layup and Schlobohm hit a three-pointer as the Tornados held the 5-4 advantage at the 17:51 mark in the first half. Three lead changes and three ties marked the next three minutes as a pair of free throws by Holli Flippo tied the game up at 11 apiece with 14:56 to play, before Singletary and Watkins hit back-to-back baskets to give Brevard a four point lead.
A free throw by Asheley Watkins gave the Tornados their largest lead of the half at 16-11 with 13:32 on the clock, but McCann followed with a layup on the fast break and Jama Hammontree drilled a three-pointer to tie the game back up.
The teams swapped the lead a total of eight times in the first half, the final coming on a jumper in the paint by McCann at the 2:40 mark to give the Pioneers the 31-30 lead. Aughburns followed with a three-pointer from the top of the key, but Micheala Watkins had the final basket of the half with a driving layup as Brevard went into the break down 34-32.
Baxter opened the second half with a three-pointer eight seconds into the period as the Pioneers built an eight point advantage at 51-43 on a layup by McCann at the 10:19 mark. The Tornados answered with a Flippo three-pointer as the Brevard kept the game within single digits.
With Tusculum holding the 61-54 advantage after layup by Hicks at the 4:34 mark, Brevard began two final runs at the lead, cutting the score down to within two points at 61-59 following back-to-back Brendle layups and at 64-61 with 1:02 to play on a pair of Brendle free throws, but three Brevard turnovers in the final 13 seconds ended the final comeback attempt and Baxter was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line as the Tornados fell in Boshamer Gymnasium, 68-61.
Brevard takes two weeks off before welcoming Pfeiffer University to Brevard, N.C. and Boshamer Gymnasium for a non-conference game on Monday, December 19th. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Falcons is set for 4 p.m.