Salisbury, N.C. - Josh Roper led all scorers with 25 points and Whitson had his fourth double-double of the season, but the Indians were led by Stephen Coles’ 18 points as the Tornados fell in Goodman Gymnasium on Wednesday night, 93-75.
Roper was 9-20 from the floor in the game and had five assists as Brevard (10-5, 3-2 SAC) fell in their second South Atlantic Conference game of the season. Whitson also reached the 20 point mark with 21 points on 9-15 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Tornados outrebounded Catawba 45-42 in the game. Sam Carlisle added 10 points and seven rebounds and Shane Galloway had six points in the first half as the Tornados were undone by 21 turnovers in the game.
Catawba (9-6, 2-2 SAC) was led by Coles as the freshman forward went eight for eight from the floor in the first half on his way to a team-high 18 points. Justin Huntley scored 17 points off the bench and pulled down five rebounds while Antonio Houston and Donald Rutherford added 15 and 14 points respectively as the Indians went 35-73 (47.9 percent) from the floor in the game.
Coles scored the first 10 points for the Indians as they opened the game with a 14-4 run which lasted the first 5:12 of the game as Catawba connected on seven of their first 10 attempts in the early going. The Indians built their largest lead of the first half at 16 with the score 30-14 with 8:45 left in the opening period as Coles added two more of his first-half 16 points.
The Tornados responded with a run of their own, started on a pair of free throws by Drew Schauss and Roper was able to connect from behind the arc off the assist from Dellinger as the Tornados brought the game to 34-22 with 5:16 remaining in the opening period. Brevard cut the lead even closer, bringing the game back to within six on a free throw by Carlisle with 45 seconds left on the clock to put the score at 41-35.
The next ten seconds contained a multitude of events that results in technical fouls being assessed to players on both teams with 35 seconds remaining in the period. Roper connected on his first free throw attempt to put the Tornados within five points at 41-36, but Fields connected on three of his four attempts on the other end for Catawba and Justin Huntley scored on a jumper in the paint from five feet out with three seconds left on the clock as the teams went into halftime with the score at 47-38 in favor of the home team.
Brevard held the slight rebounding edge at halftime with 22 rebounds in the game, but Catawba was led by Coles going a perfect eight of eight from the floor in the first half in connecting on 50.0 percent (18-36) of their shots in building their first half lead.
The Indians opened up a 21 point lead in the second half on Huntley’s layup, but a layup by Roper on Brevard’s next trip down the court put the score at 73-54 with 9:45 remaining, sparking a 12-0 run by the Tornados capped by another Roper layup on a fast break as Brevard cut the lead down to 73-63 with 8:11 to play. Catawba would respond with a 12-0 run of their own to build the lead back up to 22 on a jumper by Houston to put the score at 85-63.
The Tornados would give one last charge as Roper hit a three-pointer with 45 seconds remaining in the game to put the score at 89-75, but the Indians would close out the game with the next four points in sealing the 93-75 win.
The Tornados continue with game four of their five game road trip on Saturday, January 16th, as Brevard makes the trip to Cuddy Arena in Wingate, N.C. to take on SAC opponent Wingate University. Tipoff for the game between the Tornados and the Bulldogs is set for 4 p.m.