Brevard, N.C. - Josh Roper led all scorers with 22 points, but five Wingate players reached double figures in scoring and the Bulldogs connected on 12 three-pointers in the contest as the Tornados fell in Boshamer Gymnasium on Saturday, 93-81.
Roper led Brevard (16-7, 8-4 SAC) with his 13th 20-point effort on the season, going a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line to go with a team high five assists. Jonathan Whitson added 17 points on six of seven shooting and Sam Carlisle added 17 points and five rebounds as the Tornados connected on 48.3 percent (28-58) of their field goal attempts in the game. Nathan Whitmire finished the game with seven points and five rebounds, connecting on the first Brevard three-pointer in the game as the Tornados struggled from behind the arc, connecting on only 15.0 percent (3-20) of their attempts.
Larry Staley led the Bulldogs (12-11, 5-7 SAC) with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Jaime Vaughn finished with 18 points, hitting three shots from behind the arc. Odell Turner, Paidrick Matilus and David Johnson rounded out the group in double digits for the Bulldogs as Wingate connected on 50.0 percent (30-60) of their field goal attempts and 40.0 percent (12-30) of their attempts from behind the arc.
Staley opened up the scoring on the opening tipoff, connecting on a jumper to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. The teams swapped scores as the score was tied at nine on a free throw by Carlisle and at 18 on a layup by Brevard’s Jermichael Tanner at the 12:04 mark as neither team was able to build more than a five point lead in the first half.
A baseline jumper by Whitson put Brevard up 20-18 and the Tornados retained the lead for the next nine minutes, going up by five at one point on Whitmire’s jumper on the fast break at the 8:39 mark to put the Tornados up 27-22, but Wingate brought the game back on a jumper by Vaughn to tie the game up at 35 with 3:00 minutes remaining in the first half. A fast break layup by Whitson put the Tornados up 37-35, but Vaughn answered with a three-pointer on Wingate’s following trip down the court as the Bulldogs went up by four on a layup by Quan Alexander with less than a minute left in the first half.
A pair of free throws by Whitson ended the first half as the teams went into the locker rooms with the score at 43-41 in favor of the guests.
The score was tied up three times in the first five minutes of the second half as a jumper by Carlisle tied the game at 45 and a free throw by Darin Dellinger tied the game up at 50. Johnson tied the game up for Wingate at the 15:40 mark with a free throw, then made the following one to give the Bulldogs the 52-51 lead. Carlisle drove in for a layup on Brevard’s next trip down the court, but Johnson answered with a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs the 55-53 lead.
Wingate would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way as the Bulldogs outscored the Tornados 38-28 the rest of the way to take the win.
The Tornados take to the road in their next game, traveling to Jefferson City, Tenn. to face off against the Eagles of Carson-Newman College on Wednesday, February 17th. Tipoff for the game between the Tornados and Eagles inside Holt Fieldhouse is scheduled for 8 p.m.