Photo Courtesy of Thomas Kennedy ('21)
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Brevard College Tornados (6-4, 2-3 USAS) fell in its first exhibition contest of 2018-19 to the USC Upstate Spartans (4-7) on Tuesday evening at the G.B. Hodges Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Tornados put together an incredible effort, hanging around with their NCAA DI counterpart for a majority of the contest. USC Upstate's game-ending 11-0 run helped pull out a 71-53 victory.
Annalee Bollinger led the way for a hot-shooting Tornados club throughout the night. The senior guard from Hickory, N.C. tallied 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including a 3-of-9 clip from distance.
The Spartans, who improved to 4-7 on the season, were led by a near double-double performance from Riley Popplewell. Popplewell recorded a game-high 20 points on an impressive 9-of-13 shooting from the field while grabbing a game-high nine boards.
The Tornados knocked down a pair of early 3-point jump shots, as Bollinger and Washington's long-range jumpers gave Brevard a 6-4 lead. The Spartans would promptly answer, stringing together a 16-4 scoring run to close out the first period with a 20-10 lead.
USC Upstate would extend its lead to 25-10 before Brevard put a 13-2 scoring run together to trim the Spartans' advantage to 27-23. Both teams would jostle back and forth throughout the remainder of the second period, as the hot-shooting Tornados only trailed the Spartans by a slim four-point margin going into the intermission, 40-36.
After halftime, Brevard jumped out to a quick 6-0 scoring run behind two Avery Lockwood layups to take its first lead since the early stages of the game, 42-40.
The Spartans answered right back with their own 8-0 scoring run to retake the lead, 48-42. Upstate would cling to a 54-46 lead heading into the final stanza.
The Tornados trailed 60-53 with 4:32 left in the contest, however, the Spartans would end the game on an 11-0 run to down Brevard by a final score of 71-53.
Turnovers proved to be the main difference as Brevard committed 26 turnovers, doubling USC Upstate's 13 miscues. The Spartans dominated both scoring in the paint (36-18) and second-chance points (22-8) to distance themselves from the Tornados during the late stages of the contest.
Brevard shot the 3-pointer at a 36% clip which dwarfed Upstate's 22.2% mark.
The contest was the first of back-to-back exhibition tune-ups for the Tornados that will not affect their overall record or team and individual statistics.
Brevard heads across the town of Spartanburg tomorrow afternoon to square off with the Southern Conference's Wofford Terriers inside of the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium at 2 p.m.
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