Newberry, S.C. - Anna Schlobohm and Micheala Watkins led four Brevard players in double-digits with 13 points apiece as the Tornados battled Newberry College in Eleazer Arena on Wednesday evening, but paced by 20 points and 14 rebounds by Haylee Lepaio, the Wolves were able to claw their way to the South Atlantic Conference win, 56-53.
Brevard (5-12, 0-9 SAC) had two final chances to send the contest into overtime in a tightly contested game, but both shots bounced out as the Tornados were unable to come away with the win. The Wolves (11-6, 6-3 SAC) took control of the contest late in the first half behind 12 points by Lepaio as Newberry takes their sixth conference win in the season.
Holli Flippo added 12 points and nine rebounds for Brevard, hitting three three-pointers in the contest, while Lindsay Brendle rounded out the Tornados in double-digits with 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out of the contest.
Lepaio led all players with the double-double, going 8-for-19 from the floor in the win. Ellie Gleeson and Kendra Brown added eight points apiece in Coach Sean Page’s 100th career victory.
Brendle opened the scoring in the contest, driving in for the layup at the 19:20 mark as the Tornados and Wolves battled in the opening minutes of the contest. A pair of free throws by Lepaio and a layup by Kendra Brown gave Newberry their first lead of the game at 4-2, but the Tornados battled back to take the lead at 9-8 at the 16:08 mark as Lacey Singletary hit a jumper in the short left corner.
Singletary’s jumper started an 8-0 run spanning the next four minutes as the Tornados went up 15-8 on a pair of free throws by Micheala Watkins before a Brown jumper ended the Brevard scoring spree at the 12:24 mark. A Brendle layup extended the lead back to seven, but the Wolves scratched their way back into the game, going on a 9-2 run of their own capped by a Keisha Henderson free throw to knot the game up at 19 with eight minutes to play in the half.
Lepaio broke the tie with a layup off the pass from Ellie Gleeson at the 6:27 mark to give the Wolves the lead and a pair of Gleeson free throws put the score at 23-19 as Newberry extended their largest lead of the first half. The Tornados brought the game back to within two at 26-24 on a jumper by Watkins as the shot clock expired, but Lepaio and Devanee Taylor hit layups in the final minute as Newberry held the 30-24 halftime advantage.
The Tornados rallied back in the second half, tying the game at 39 with 11:37 on the clock on an Alyssa Cutshaw three-pointer from the top of the key, setting up the a fast-paced final 11 minutes in which neither team was able to build more than a two possession lead.
Heading into the final minute, Newberry held the 52-49 lead by virtue of a Lepaio layup. A pair of free throws by Neicey Lewis extended the score to 54-49 with 25 ticks remaining in the clock, but Watkins answered with two from the charity stripe to bring the game back to within three on the next BC possession.
Two Gleeson free throws were answered by a Schlobohm layup with eight seconds remaining in the game, putting the contest at 56-53. Flippo stole the ensuing Newberry inbounds pass, giving the Tornados two chances to win the contest in the final seconds. Asheley Watkins’ three-point attempt fell short and was collected by Tempestt Mack, who dished the ball out to Micheala Watkins at the top of the key, but her high-arcing shot bounced out as the buzzer sounded as the Wolves held on to collect the 56-53 victory.
Brevard remains on the road as they begin the second half of their 2011-2012 South Atlantic Conference schedule as they travel to Anderson, S.C. to take on Anderson University on Saturday, January 28th. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Trojans is set for 2 p.m.