Newberry, S.C. - Jonathan Whitson blocked Ray Robinson’s layup with 14 seconds left in the game and the Brevard senior forward corralled the rebound, allowing the Tornados to run out the clock as Brevard left Eleazer Arena on Wednesday night with the 61-60 win.
With the win, Brevard (14-5, 6-2 SAC) is in sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic Conference at the halfway point in the conference schedule.
Whitson led the Tornados with 20 points in the contest as the senior from Clyde, N.C. went eight of 15 from the floor and pulled down eight rebounds in the game. Josh Roper added 14 points and four steals in 35 minutes of play and Nathan Whitmire added 11 points and eight rebounds as the Tornados held the 38-26 rebound advantage in the contest. Sam Carlisle added eight points and six rebounds off the bench for Coach Jones in the game.
Ryan Barnes led Newberry (7-12, 2-6 SAC) with 20 points in the contest, going a perfect seven for seven from the field in the first half including connecting on five three-pointers to lead the scarlet and gray as Newberry went nine of 19 (47.4 percent) from behind the arc in the game. He was joined in double figures by Stephane Bakinde with 13 points and Aaron Edwards with 10. Bakinde added three blocked shots in the game as Newberry blocked seven as a team in the contest.
Newberry opened up the game with a 28-18 run on their way to a 37-29 lead at the half, led by Barnes’ 19 first half points.
In the second half, the Tornados responded with a 16-8 run of their own capped by a layup by Carlisle to tie the game up at 45 with 12:49 remaining.
The teams would battle each other the rest of the way with neither able to go up by more than five as Newberry held a 52-47 lead on Edward’s three-pointer on the fast break off the assist from Jeremee Davis with 9:59 to play. The Tornados cut the score back to within one on Whitson’s tip-in at the 6:54 mark and would take the 53-52 lead on Roper’s steal and layup less than a minute later.
The score would be knotted up one more time at 57 apiece as Jawuan Lockhart connected on the first half of a pair of free throws at the 2:23 mark, but jumpers by Whitson and Dellinger on Brevard’s next two trips down the court gave the Tornados the 61-57 lead with 1:08 to play.
Edwards would connect on a three-pointer near the Newberry bench to cut the lead to within one at 61-60, and a turnover by Carlisle gave the scarlet and gray a chance to take the lead, but Whitson blocked the attempt by Robinson and snared the rebound. Newberry fouled to get the Tornados into the bonus and Dellinger took the line with three seconds on the clock, missing the first free throw in the one-and-one, but the scarlet and gray were unable to get another shot attempt off as the Tornados left with the 61-60 win.
Brevard returns to Boshamer Gymnasium as the host Mars Hill College on Saturday, January 30th. Tipoff for the game between the Tornados and Lions is scheduled for 4 p.m.