Hickory, N.C. - Anna Schlobohm’s three-pointer from the right wing hit the back of the rim and bounced out as the buzzer sounded, ending the Tornados comeback attempt in Shuford Memorial Gymnasium as Brevard fell on the road in SAC action on Saturday afternoon to Lenoir-Rhyne, 69-66.
The Tornados (5-9, 0-6 SAC) forced 24 Lenoir-Rhyne (12-3, 4-2 SAC) turnovers in the game and scored 29 points off Bears’ miscues in the contest as Brevard held a double-digit lead in the first half. The Bears battled back to the win, taking advantage of 24-for-38 shooting from the free throw line in the victory.
Lindsay Brendle led the Tornados with 20 points, her second consecutive game with at least 20 points as the Tornados shot 35.2 percent (25-71) from the floor in the game. Schlobohm added 13 points, while Holli Flippo hit three three-pointers on her way to an 11 point game. Asheley Watkins and Micheala Watkins recorded six steals apiece in the game, while Lacey Singletary blocked three shots for the Tornados.
Krystal Patton sparked the Bears with 19 points from the bench, shooting 7-for-9 from the floor, as Lenoir-Rhyne was 22-for-54 (40.7 percent) in the game as a team. Whitley Culler added 17 points and eight rebounds, while Whitney Brinkley recorded a double-double for L-R with 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Bears won their 12th consecutive game against the Tornados.
Brevard came out of the gates hot as Singletary scored the first two Brevard baskets of the game off assists from both Micheala and Asheley Watkins as Brevard took control early. An old-fashioned three-point play by Sealey and a free throw by Caroline Laughter cut the score to one at 7-6 at the 16:44 mark, but a pair of free throws by Brendle extended the Brevard lead back out.
Brendle followed the free throws with a layup as Brevard went on a 9-0 run with Schlobohm converting a three-point play to give the Tornados the 16-6 lead with 13:01 to play in the first half. The Tornados would go up by as many as 11 in the first half on a three-point play by Micheala Watkins with 10:12 to play as Brevard built a 23-12 lead.
A free throw by Taylor Johnson sparked Lenoir-Rhyne’s comeback in the final 10 minutes as Krystal Patton drove in for a pair of layups and hit a trey as the Bears went on a 13-2 run capped by a layup by Danielle Bongiorno to tie the game up at 25 apiece at the 5:30 mark. The Bears took their first lead of the contest at the 4:04 mark on a Sealey layup on their way to building a 32-27 advantage helped in part by the Bears converting 11 shots from the charity stripe during their run.
Lenoir-Rhyne went up by five just before the break at 34-29 on a free throw by Whitney Brinkley as the Bears shot 15-for-25 from the charity stripe in the opening half, but Micheala Watkins beat the buzzer with a layup to send the teams into the half with the Bears holding the 34-31 lead.
Brendle scored the first two baskets of the second half as Brevard retook the lead at 35-34 to set up a wild second half which saw four ties and 10 lead changes, with neither team able to establish more than a two possession lead.
The ties came at 42, 46, 52 and 54, with Flippo giving the Tornados their final lead of the game on a pair of free throws with 5:21 remaining at 55-54. Sealey answered with layup on the other end to give the Bears the 56-55 advantage as Lenoir-Rhyne went on to record their biggest lead of the contest, going up six on a jumper by Bongiorno from the right wing with 1:37 to play.
A three-pointer by Holli Flippo cut the lead down to three points and Micheala Watkins drove in for the layup to keep the game within striking distance. A free throw by Sealey gave Lenoir-Rhyne the 68-64 lead with 19 ticks remaining in the game, but Tempestt Mack answered with a jumper to give the Tornados one final chance.
Laughter converted her first free throw attempt with five seconds remaining to extend the lead to 69-66, but missed the second, giving Brevard one final chance in the contest. However, Anna Schlobohm’s three-point attempt hit the back of the rim and fell out as the Bears held on for the 69-66 South Atlantic Conference victory.
Brevard is back in action as the Tornados return home to Boshamer Gymnasium on Wednesday, January 18th as they host Lincoln Memorial University. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Railsplitters is set for 6 p.m.