Mars Hill, N.C. - Two Brevard desperation attempts in the closing minutes fell short and Autumn Ward sunk a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining as the Tornados fell in Stanford Arena on Saturday afternoon to Mars Hill, 60-57.
Brevard (5-6, 0-4 SAC) went on a 14-5 run starting at the 5:17 mark as the Tornados overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to bring the game back to within 58-57 on a left-handed layup by Taylor Hiatt with 54 seconds to play. Taylor Deal missed a jumper from the short left corner for Mars Hill (8-5, 1-3 SAC) on the ensuing possession, giving the Tornados one final chance to complete the comeback, but a three-pointer by Cutshaw fell short and Lindsay Brendle's layup fell out, setting up Ward’s game-clinching free throws.
Brendle led the Tornados with 17 points, scoring 14 in the second half including her first two three-pointers of the season to lead the comeback as the Tornados shot 32.3 percent (20-62) from the floor in the contest. Micheala Watkins added 12 points and five steals in the loss, while Anna Schlobohm hit a pair of three-pointers during the second half comeback to finish with 11 points off the bench.
Tyler Carlson led Mars Hill with 20 points and added six assists in leading the Lions offense to a 45.3 percent (24-53) shooting effort in the game. Jackie Simon added 10 points and five rebounds, while Danielle Tucker added seven points as 10 Lions players found the net in the contest.
The teams battled through the first two minutes before a layup by Tucker opened the scoring at the 18:40 mark as Mars Hill scored the first six points of the game on their way to opening the contest on a 10-2 run. Lindsay Brendle hit three free throws for the first points for the Tornados at the 16:06 mark to put Brevard on the board.
A pair of layups by Armeka Booker and Carlson gave the Lions their first double-digit lead of the game as Mars Hill went up by 14 in the opening half at the 7:54 mark on a jumper by Jackie Simon. The Tornados battled back on free throws by Lacey Singletary and a three-pointer from the top of the key by Katelynne Poole with 4:49 on the clock to bring the game back to within single digits at 26-17.
A pair of Simon free throws were matched by a layup by Tempestt Mack as the teams traded baskets heading into the halftime break. A Tucker free throw and Watkins layup were the final points of the half coming at the 1:30 mark and Anna Schlobohm’s three-pointer from the right corner bounced out in the closing seconds as the Lions held the 31-21 advantage heading into the half.
The teams traded runs in the second half as a Watkins layup at the 14:25 mark capped an 8-0 run that brought the game back to within five at 36-31. However, Mars Hill responded to each BC run by expanding the lead back out to double-digits as Ward drained a three-pointer at the 11:56 mark to put the lead back to 11 at 43-32.
The lead was again 11 at the 5:42 mark on a jumper by Carlson as Mars Hill went up 53-42. Free throws by Hiatt and Schlobohm brought the game back to within single digits before Brendle drained her second three-pointer of the season from the left corner to put the game at 53-47 with 3:55 on the clock. Schlobohm followed on the next possession with a trey from the same spot and matched a Carlson three-pointers with a trey from the top of the key as the Tornados came within one possession of the Lions.
Layups by Simon and Brendle kept the score at three before Hiatt drove into the paint and laid a left-handed layup off the glass and into the basket to cut the score to within one. Mars Hill ran the clock down, with Deal attempting a short jumper as the shot clock expired, but her shot bounced out and was corralled by Schlobohm, setting up the final shot attempts by the Tornados.
Mars Hill held the 42-36 rebounding edge, while the Tornados forced 22 Lions turnovers to 13 of their own.
Brevard returns home for the first time in the 2012 calendar year as they remain in South Atlantic Conference action as Catawba comes to town on Wednesday, January 11th. Tipoff in Boshamer Gymnasium between the Tornados and the Indians is set for 6 p.m.