Brevard, N.C. - Jonathan Whitson, Darin Dellinger and Jacques Dovonou all hit free throws in the waning seconds of overtime and Sam Carlisle scored 14 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as the Tornados opened up the 2009-2010 South Atlantic Conference season with a 58-54 overtime win over Tusculum College in Boshamer Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Carlisle led all scorers with 14 points and his 18 rebounds were also a game-high as Brevard (4-1, 1-0 SAC) pulled down 42 rebounds in the contest. Carlisle was 6-15 from the floor and was joined in double figures by Whitson with 12 points and five rebounds, while Dellinger had 11 points and two steals in 37 minutes playing time.
Wes Taylor and Rob Troutman led the Pioneers (3-4, 0-1 SAC) with 11 points apiece and Josh Bennett scored 10 points on five of seven shooting as Tusculum connected on 50.0 percent (22-44) of their attempts on the evening. Bennett also led the team on the glass with seven rebounds while Justin Steigerwald dished out three assists.
Brevard opened the game by going up 10-4 in the first five minutes as Whitson put in a pair of layups and three other Tornados contributed baskets. Tusculum came back to take their first lead of the contest at the 9:59 mark of the first half at 15-14 after a jumper Rob Troutman. The Pioneers held a narrow lead throughout the remainder of the first half, going up 28-23 on Kyle Moore’s jumper in the paint with 1:09 remaining before Nick Gagel’s shot from the opposing foul line went in to beat the buzzer giving Tusculum the 31-23 lead as the teams headed to the locker room.
Tusculum retained the lead through most of the second half with their largest lead being eight points which they reached twice, going up 37-29 on Troutman’s jumper and 39-31 on Taylor’s basket. The Tornados steadily chipped away at the lead, cutting it down to three on a free throw by Carlisle putting the game at 42-39 with 7:43 remaining before Brevard retook the lead after Whitson’s jumper from the short left corner put the Tornados up 45-44 with 3:18 to play.
The teams would swap baskets through the remaining three minutes and headed into overtime after Dellinger’s free throw with the score at 48-48.
Tusculum took the first lead of the overtime period as Troutman put in a pair of free throws with 3:54 on the clock. Whitson tied the score up a minute and a half later with a pair of his own, before Pioneers’ Jimmy Boone’s free throws put the visiting team up 52-50 with 2:01 on the clock. A made free throw by Nathan Whitmire cut the lead to one and following a turnover by Boone, Dellinger streaked down the court for a layup to put Brevard up 53-52 with 1:30 remaining.
A foul sent Whitson to the line where the Preseason All-SAC first team selection nailed both attempts to give the Tornados the three point advantage. A layup by Troutman cut the lead back down to one at 55-54 with 25 seconds on the game clock, but Brevard scored the final three points of the contest as Dellinger made a pair of free throws and Dovonou clinched the game with two seconds remaining by knocking down the back-end of his free throws as Brevard continued their home winning streak with the 58-54 win.
The Tornados are back in action on Monday, December 7th, as Brevard will host Lees-McRae in a non-conference matchup in Boshamer Gymnasium. Tipoff for the game between the Tornados and the Bobcats is set for 7 p.m.