Wingate, N.C. – DeMario Mattox scored 19 points and dealt out six assists as Wingate University edged Brevard College, 81-72, Saturday afternoon at Cuddy Arena. The Bulldogs (11-12, 7-5 South Atlantic Conference) have won four straight games, while the Tornados (11-12, 2-10 SAC) have lost six straight in conference action.
Mattox (Rocky Mount, Va.) was one of four Bulldogs in double figures. Kenny Villines (Fayetteville, N.C.) scored 15 points, Larry Staley (Charlotte, N.C.) scored 14, and Ben Davis (Chapel Hill, N.C.) added ten. The Bulldogs shot 45.2% from the floor. Mattox led the ‘Dogs in rebounding, with seven.
Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C.) led the Tornado effort with 24 points and nine rebounds. Darin Dellinger (Stanley, N.C.) added 13 points and Christian Matus (Miami, Fla.) scored 12, on four three-point baskets.
A Whitson jumper on Brevard’s first possession gave the Tornados the first points of the game as the black and blue jumped on Wingate early on. A 9-2 run early in the first half, capped by a Matus three-ball gave Brevard a 20-11 lead with 12:42 left in the first half.
Wingate came back with ten straight points of their own, finished off by a Davis jumper with 10:19 left in the period, to surge ahead, 21-20. The teams traded the lead five more times in the first half before a 15-4 Bulldog streak pushed the home team’s advantage to 38-30 late in the half. But Brevard’s Joseph Chilton (Brasstown, N.C.) knocked down a three-pointer for the period’s final basket, and Wingate’s lead was 38-33 at the intermission.
A Whitson tip-in cut Wingate’s lead to 40-39 a minute into the second half, but four straight points from Mattox prevented the Tornados from pulling ahead. A 9-2 Bulldog run, including a Villines jumper with 16:37 remaining, put the home side up, 49-41.
Wingate’s lead reached double figures on a three-ball from Jamie Vaughn (McDonough, Ga.) with 11:28 to play, making the score 61-49, and a Davis basket with 3:07 left gave Wingate their largest advantage, 73-59.
But the Tornados did not quit, scoring 13 of the game’s next 16 points. When Shane Galloway (Rosman, N.C.) drained a trifecta with :48 left, Brevard trailed just 76-72. The visitors did not score again, however, and Wingate notched the final five points of the game at the free throw line to win by nine.
Despite the loss, Brevard coach Michael Jones was upbeat about his team’s performance. “I thought we came out focused tonight and played our best road conference game of the season,” the general said after the game. “Unfortunately we ran into a Wingate team that is playing very well. SAC road wins are very hard to come by, and even more difficult when the home team plays like Wingate did today.”
Brevard looks to get back into the win column when they host Carson-Newman on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The game is Brevard’s WBCA Pink Zone night; fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game and make a donation to support the fight against breast cancer. Wingate’s next game is Wednesday at Mars Hill, also at 8 p.m.