Brevard, N.C. – The Brevard Tornados lost a 20-point lead, then rallied on the strength of Joseph Chilton’s three-point shooting to down Carson-Newman in overtime, 101-97, Wednesday night at Boshamer Gymnasium. Chilton hit a three-pointer with 10.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime and hit two more outside shots in the extra period.
With the win, Brevard (12-12, 3-10 South Atlantic Conference) ties Carson-Newman (6-18, 3-10 SAC) for the eighth and final sport in the SAC Tournament with three regular season games remaining for each team. The victory is the first for Michael Jones’ team in seven SAC games.
Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C.) led all scorers with 30 points, and added 11 rebounds, while Cody Siniard tied a career-high with 16 points. Chilton (Brasstown, N.C.) and Sam Carlisle (Raleigh, N.C.) each scored 11, with Carlisle grabbing 12 rebounds, and Shane Galloway (Rosman, N.C.) and Andrew Freeman (Asheville, N.C.) each scored ten. The Tornados hit ten of 14 three-point shots (71.4%), shot 55.4% from the floor, and drained 19 of 24 free throws (79.2%).
The road side was led by Jordan Dixon (Clinton, Tenn.) and Bobby Guyton (Jesup, Ga.) each of whom scored 15 points to lead the Eagles. Carson-Newman was outrebounded, 44-28 and hit just 13 of 25 free throws (52.0%)
Brevard looked poised to cruise to a blowout victory after dominating the first half. The Tornados led for all but 28 seconds in the opening frame. A lay-up from Freeman pushed the lead to 22-12 with 13:30 left in the period, and a Siniard three-pointer at the 8:22 mark capped a 9-0 run and put Brevard up, 37-17. The Tornados led at the halftime break, 46-31.
The Eagles came out of the halftime locker room gunning and turned what looked like a laugher into an epic prizefight. The Eagles started the half on a 24-7 run to storm in front. A three-pointer by Guyton gave the visitors a 57-55 lead with 11:26 left in the game. After Brevard regained the lead, Carson-Newman came back with a 7-0 spurt, capped by a Tray Okoth (Richmond, Va.) basket, to lead 70-64 with 7:01 to play.
The home side came back to tie the game with 4:44 left on a Whitson lay-up, and another basket from Brevard’s all-time leading scorer put the Tornados on top, 83-81, with 1:06 left. But Carson-Newman scored the next five points of the game and led 86-83 with 22 seconds on the clock.
Brevard called timeout and ran a set to get Chilton the ball at the top of the key. The senior canned the three-pointer to tie the game in the final ten seconds, and Dixon missed a jumper in the waning seconds that would have won the game for the Eagles.
Brevard scored ten of the first 11 points in the extra period to ease to victory. Chilton knocked down two more trifectas and iced the game with a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left in the extra frame, and Brevard escaped with the victory.
“I am so proud of the way we played tonight,” Jones said after the win. “Our guys battled back after losing their lead. We talked about how this was a must-win game for us, and we took care of business tonight.”
The Tornados return to action Saturday for a 4 p.m. showdown with Tusculum. The game is the 2009 home finale for Brevard and Senior Day for Chilton, Sean Ferretti and Radosav Babic. Carson-Newman plays at Lincoln Memorial Saturday night at 8 p.m.