Tornados Come Back in Final Minutes of Regulation, Claim Thrilling 78-73 Overtime Victory

Tornados Come Back in Final Minutes of Regulation, Claim Thrilling 78-73 Overtime Victory

Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director


BREVARD, N.C. - A 13-2 scoring run in the final 1:38 of regulation helped the Brevard College Tornados Men's Basketball team (5-12, 2-8 USAS) storm past the Piedmont Lions (2-16, 2-10 USAS) in overtime by a final score of 78-73 on Tuesday night at the Boshamer Gymnasium. 

Two late clutch shots by Levi Lamb tied action up at 68-68, sending the tight contest to overtime where the Tornados would outscore the Lions 10-5 to claim victory. 

"The heart of this team showed up tonight," commented Head Coach Lee Burgess. "When we've had the last few weeks that we have had, we were down by 10 at halftime and down by 11 late in the second half, to stick with it shows the heart of this team. I am thrilled for our guys to get to experience this after a tough last couple of weeks."

Levi Lamb led the way for the Tornados with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, which included 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Lamb's 24 points match his single-game career-high total set on December 7, 2018, in another thrilling home victory over Averett. 

"Levi is just a clutch player, he made two huge shots for us down the stretch to send the game to overtime," added Coach Burgess on Levi Lamb's career performance. "He has a clutch part about him and we don't even have to call plays for him. His teammates find him and he can make things happen. As a coach, it is a huge luxury to have a player of Levi's caliber."

BC's bench played a large role in its success on Tuesday night, tallying 36 points overall. 

Cannon Lamb tallied 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, grabbing five rebounds and dishing three assists in reserve action. 

Freshman forward Noah Lea played a big role in Brevard's comeback bid, recording 13 points and two steals while knocking down 4-of-4 from the free throw line in big situations. 

Sophomore guard Demari Hopper rounded out the Tornados' double-digit scoring efforts with 11 points, shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line. Hopper also grabbed a team-high six rebounds. 

Piedmont was led by way of Justin Quick, who tallied a team-high 21 points, propelled by a perfect 7-of-7 mark from the free throw line and a near-perfect 4-of-5 from long range. 

Foul shooting played a big role in the BC comeback, as its 18-of-23 (78.3%) mark from the charity stripe was the Tornados' highest since they shot 80% on December 1, 2018, at William Peace.

Both teams were on par with each other from the field, as BC held the slight 46.4% to 45.2% field goal edge. However, the Tornados outshot the Lions in the overtime period 33.3% (2-of-6) to 11.1% (1-of-9).

Piedmont held a slight 39-32 rebounding advantage throughout the contest and scored 44 points in the paint compared to Brevard's 30. 

The Tornados started to play hot, leading by as many as eight points, holding a 15-7 lead with 12:42 left in the first half after a Joshua Wilson 3-pointer.

Piedmont clawed its way back, however, using a lengthy 17-2 scoring run to take its first lead of the game at 24-17 with 8:53 left in the first half. 

The Lions would later swell their lead to a game-high 13-point advantage, holding a 41-28 lead in the waning seconds of the first half. Three-straight Levi Lamb free throws cut Piedmont's lead to 10 points at the half, 41-31. 

Quick led all scorers heading into the half, gashing the Tornados for 16 points on a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. BC would go on to hold Quick to just five points throughout the second stanza. 

Turnovers cost Brevard mightily in the first half, as BC's 15 mishaps led to 19 Piedmont points-off-turnovers. 

Coach Burgess' BC Tornados came out of the gates firing in the second half. Brevard used a quick 9-3 run to get back into the game, trailing 44-40 with 16:22 left in the second half. The Tornados continued to battle and even held a brief lead at the 12:31 mark, 47-46. 

The Lions would answer, however, using an 8-0 run to regain a 54-47 lead with 10:10 remaining. 

Brevard and Piedmont continued their back-and-forth affair, as BC cut Piedmont's advantage to just two points, 54-52 before the under-8 media timeout. 

After the aforementioned media timeout, Piedmont used its quick score-ability to grow its lead to 66-55 with just 2:46 remaining, a lead that seemed too much to overcome. 

Pushed to the brink of defeat, the Tornados used stingy defense and clutch shot-making to string together a game-altering 13-2 scoring run. Led by their 2018-19 leading scorer Levi Lamb, Brevard started its comeback. 

Levi Lamb connected on a quick field goal to cut the Piedmont lead to single-digits at 66-57. 

Chasing a loose ball, Hopper drew a key personal foul. He connected at the line on both attempts to draw BC closer, 66-59 with 1:23 left in regulation. 

Both teams would trade empty possessions before Wilson drew a foul, subsequently knocking down both of his free throw attempts to cut Piedmont's lead to 66-61 with a mere 30 seconds left in the contest. 

Wilson would come up big once again for the Tornados, as the freshman forward from Eagle River, Alaska stole the Lions' inbound pass and knocked down a layup to bring the Tornados to within three points at 66-63. 

Piedmont's Quick would draw a foul on the next possession, sinking both of his attempts to extend the Lions' lead to 68-63 with 22 seconds left. 

The Tornados' leading scorer would then take matters into his own hands, sinking a deep long-range shot with 11 seconds left in regulation to cut Piedmont's lead to 68-66. 

Brevard promptly fouled Piedmont's Taylor Mills, sending him to the line for a one-and-one. Mills would miss the front end of the one-and-one, giving Brevard the opportunity to tie or take the lead. 

Hopper found a cutting Levi Lamb in the paint, as Lamb's layup found the bottom of the net to tie things up at 68-68, sending the USA South battle to overtime. 

Lea came up big for the Tornados in the extra stanza, propelling them with four quick points to give BC a 72-68 advantage. Piedmont's Miles Riley converted an and-one layup to bring the Lions to within one, however the Tornados would pull away. Clutch free throws by Wilson, Levi Lamb, and Cannon Lamb put the contest out of reach, as the Tornados earned their first victory since December 7, 2018, in exhilarating fashion. 

Brevard returns to the hardwood for a USA South road trip this weekend. First, the Tornados head to Lookout Mountain, Ga. for a battle with first-place Covenant College (11-6, 10-0 USAS) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Then, Brevard will match up with Maryville College (11-6, 7-3 USAS) on Saturday at 6 p.m. 

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