Hickory, N.C. – Brevard College scored just six points in the game’s first 13:41 and Lenoir-Rhyne College capitalized, routing the Tornados 71-44 Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium. The Bears (7-6, 2-1 South Atlantic Conference) have won all three meetings since the Tornados (7-4, 1-2 SAC) joined NCAA Division II.
After the Bears scored ten of the game’s first 11 points, Brevard scored their first field goal of the game on a Sam Carlisle (Raleigh, N.C) lay-up 3:46 into the contest to make the score 10-3. But Lenoir-Rhyne scored the game’s next eight points, capped by a knifing basket from Josh Rudder (Graham, N.C) to make the score 18-3 with 13:42 to go.
After a Carlisle three-point play snapped the run and made the score 18-6, Lenoir-Rhyne buried the visiting Tornados with a 16-0 run that spanned the next 6:57. Six different Bears scored during the run, which was capped by a three-pointer from Jon Hatchcock (Concord, N.C.) with 6:47 left in the half to push the lead to 34-6.
Brevard snapped the streak on a basket from Darin Dellinger (Stanley, N.C.) and got the first basket of the game from SAC Player of the Week Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C) to make the score 35-10 with 4:34 on the clock, but Lenoir-Rhyne got long distance baskets from Ryan Crawford (Stuarts Draft, Va.) and A.J. Brown (Nashville, Tenn.) in the half’s closing stretch to take a 45-16 lead into the half.
Brevard matched the Bears shot for shot in the game’s second act but the damage was done. The Bears stretched the lead to 30 points with a three-point bomb from Marcus Hodges (Wake Forest, N.C.) 55 seconds into the half, making the tally 48-18, and another Hathcock trey pushed the lead to its crescendo at 66-32 with 5:38 on the clock.
The Tornados finished the game by scoring 12 of the final 17 points, including four late baskets from Whitson. A lay-up from Nathan Whitmire (Rosman, N.C.) at the final buzzer made the score 71-44 when the dust settled
“I think tonight’s game paralleled a heavyweight boxing match in many respects,” Brevard coach Mike Jones said after the game. “Lenoir-Rhyne hit us in the mouth right in the first minute and we never threw a punch back in the first half.”
“At the same time, we did some good things in the second half and we played them pretty close,” the Brevard general added. “I told the team after the game that we have our next four games at home. If we take care of business like we have in our first three home games, we can set ourselves up in a good position going forward.”
Brevard shot just 31.6% from the floor in the first half but finished with a 42.2% clip. Whitson led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Carlisle added 15 points. The rest of the Tornados combined for just ten points.
The Bears were led by D.J. Blackmon (Albemarle, N.C.), who scored a dozen points. Hodges scored ten, and ten other Bears scored field goals. The Bears shot 46.7% from the floor, the highest any team has shot against the Tornados this season.
Brevard returns to the floor Saturday when they host Lincoln Memorial University Saturday at 4 p.m. in the first game of a four-game home stand. Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Newberry College Saturday at 8 p.m.