Brevard, N.C. - Josh Roper narrowly missed out on the double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds as the Tornados kept a 10-point halftime lead in coming away with the win over Lees-McRae on Monday night, 71-61.
Roper led all scorers for Brevard (5-1, 1-0 SAC), going eight of 13 from the field and three of six from behind the arc. Jonathan Whitson added 13 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Josh Jordan pounded the ball inside for 10 points and four rebounds as the Tornados scored 46 points in the paint against the Bobcats while pulling down 39 rebounds to Lees-McRae’s 26.
The Bobcats (0-5, 0-2 CC) were led by junior guard Jesse Hoots who tied Roper with 22 points on the evening, connecting four times from behind the arc, as well as dishing out five assists to lead the Lees-McRae attack. Adam McFerran had 14 points for the Bobcats and Sam Youse added 10 points and four rebounds in the game.
Lees-McRae opened up the game by scoring the first five points as McFerran drove in for a layup and Hoots knocked down his first three-pointer, but the Tornados tied the score up at five at the 16:47 mark as Nathan Whitmire rebounded a Whitson miss and put the ball in the basket and Roper connected from behind the arc.
Donald Hudson provided a spark off the bench for Brevard in the first half with a steal and layup in his first minute in the game as the Tornados tied the score up at 13 with 12:19 to play, sparking a 9-0 run as Roper connected on his second three-pointer of the half and drove the length of the court for a lay-up as Brevard went up 20-13. The Tornados retained the seven point advantage until McFerran connected on a long three-pointer for the Bobcats with 3:10 remaining in the half to put the score at 28-24, but the Tornados scored the remaining six points of the half, capped by a steal and thunderous dunk by Roper with a minute remaining as the teams went into the locker room with Brevard ahead 34-24.
The Tornados expanded their lead to 16 at the 15:59 mark after Sam Carlisle rebounded a Roper miss and converted the basket as Brevard went up 44-28. Hoots brought the game back into single digits for the Bobcats, connecting on seven straight points to bring the game back within nine at 55-46 with 7:29 on the clock. A layup by McFerran with 4:51 on the clock cut the lead down to six at 59-53, but the Tornados responded with a 11-3 run capped by a pair of free throws by Roper as the Tornados held on to win their fifth straight game in the 2009-2010 season, 71-61.
Brevard will take time off for exams before returning to the court on Thursday, December 17th, as the Tornados take on Belmont Abbey in a rematch of the two teams’ season opener, as the Crusaders handed the Tornados their only loss of the 2009-2010 season. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Crusaders is set for 8 p.m.