BREVARD, N.C. - The Brevard College Tornados Men's Basketball team (3-3) held off the visiting Toccoa Falls Eagles, pulling out a 73-68 victory late Wednesday evening at Boshamer Gymnasium.
The Tornados were led by a very balanced attack, with four players reaching double-digit scoring totals on the evening.
Sophomore guard Demari Hopper led the way for Brevard, pouring in 14 points on an efficient 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Hopper pulled down a game-high seven rebounds as well.
Junior forward Levi Lamb added on 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting to Brevard's efforts. Lamb grabbed five boards and tallied three steals on the evening.
Sophomore forward Cannon Lamb also recorded 13 points to go along with six rebounds.
Sophomore guard Eric Evans provided a spark off the bench for Head Coach Lee Burgess' squad. Evans tallied a career-high 11 points in just 12 minutes played in the contest. Evans also knocked down one of the three 3-pointers for the Tornados on the night.
Brevard overcame a hot shooting Toccoa Falls squad that drained 9-of-22 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Brevard controlled the paint, outscoring the Eagles by a 40-20 margin.
As a team, the Tornados shot 28-of-51 (54.9%), besting the Eagles' 25-of-56 (44.6%) mark. Brevard out-rebounded Toccoa Falls by a 37-29 margin, which included nine offensive boards.
The Eagles jumped out to an 11-6 advantage before the first media timeout stopped play. The Tornados would have an answer, stringing together a game-high 10-0 run to take a 16-11 lead.
The two sides would play out a tightly contested first half, as the Tornados took a 34-29 lead to the locker room.
Brevard's lead would swell to as much as nine points at the 13:28 mark in the second half, as Noah Lea slammed home a dunk to extend Brevard's lead to 48-39.
Toccoa Falls' Kevin Cave enjoyed a big night, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, which included 5-of-11 from long range. Cave knocked in a 3-pointer at the 11:08 mark to cut Brevard's lead to just two.
With help from the reserves, BC's lead would extend back out to nine points, as a pivotal Ke'Vel Kingsberry three-point play gave the Tornados a 60-51 advantage.
However, the Eagles would continue to battle. Toccoa Falls strung together it's own 9-0 run to knot the score at 60-60 with just four minutes remaining in regulation.
Brevard would use one final 9-2 run to separate itself from Toccoa Falls, forcing the Eagles to start sending BC to the charity stripe via late fouls.
One made free throw each from L. Lamb and Qadhafi Turner iced the contest, securing a 73-68 victory for the Tornados.
"Our guys did not panic down the stretch," said Coach Burgess after the victory. "We still have some learning to do, but we are glad to be able to learn after a win. For our guys to keep their cool and make plays down the stretch was critical to the victory."
"Although we did not shoot particularly well, our bench helped us once again with good production," added Burgess. "We had great energy around the rim tonight, and our guys did what they had to do to pull out the win."
The Tornados (3-3) are off to their best start in the first six games of a season since Burgess took over the BC Men's Basketball program in 2012-13. Brevard has won back to back games for the first time since the 2014-15 season, where the Tornados won consecutive games on four separate occasions.
Brevard will look to continue its winning ways on the road. The Tornados will travel to Raleigh, N.C. to open up USA South Conference play against William Peace University on Saturday, December 1 at 2 p.m. 2018-19 marks the first season that Brevard will be eligible for a USA South Conference regular season title, along with postseason all-conference awards.
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