Charlotte, N.C. – The Brevard College men’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the 2008-09 season on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Belmont Abbey Crusaders 60-42 in Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
With the loss, the Tornados fall to 3-1 on the season, while Belmont Abbey remains unbeaten at 4-0 on the year.
Brevard struggled shooting the ball out of the gates in the huge Time Warner Cable Arena, which is home to the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, as the Tornados hit on only seven of their first 29 shot attempts in the opening half, 24.1 percent from the field.
Yet the Tornados defense kept them in the game in the first half, as BC held Belmont Abbey to just 30.3 percent shooting (10-of-33) from the floor. The Crusaders took a 28-19 halftime lead, which was due in part to their four first half three-point baskets.
BC, who has proven to be a strong second half team in their first three games of the season, shot better in the second half (8-of-20, 40 percent), but remained ice cold from long distance hitting only one three-pointer in the final 20 minutes of play.
Belmont Abbey held off the Tornados in the final half of play, as the Crusaders connected on 13-of-31 field goal attempts, including going 3-of-6 from behind the three-point line, to hold on to their lead in the second half.
The Crusaders pulled ahead 56-34 late in the second half for their largest lead of the game, but the Tornados would not blow away trying to mount a late comeback.
However, time ran out on Coach Jones’ and the Tornados, as BC fell 60-42.
Junior forward Jonathan Whitson led the Tornados with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while guards Andrew Freeman and Nathan Whitmire had seven points apiece. Center Sam Carlisle, along with Whitson, hauled in a team-high seven rebounds.
For the Crusaders, three starters were in double figures scoring, as Richard Barbee led the way with a game-high 15 points. Chad Parus added 12 points to go along with his game high 13 rebounds, while Chris McDowell had 10 points. Guard Deonte Murphy dished out a game-high seven assists, exactly half of the Crusaders team total for the game.
The Tornados were plagued by turnovers, as Brevard had 19 for the game while only forcing Belmont Abbey to commit nine turnovers.
On the glass, the Tornados out-rebounded Belmont Abbey 43-39, as Brevard continues their dominance on the backboards this season.
The Tornados will remain on their road for their next contest, as Coach Jones’ squad will look to make it 2-0 on the season against the Warren Wilson Owls, as the two teams will square off on Monday, December 1, at 7 p.m. in Swannanoa, N.C. Belmont Abbey will hit the road for the first time all season on Tuesday, December 2, when the Crusaders face off with St. Andrews Presbyterian for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.