Charlotte, N.C. - A pair of late free throws by Belmont Abbey’s Richard Barbee offset a 26 point performance by Josh Roper in the Brevard College men’s basketball season opener at Time Warner Cable Arena as the Tornados fell to the Crusaders on Saturday afternoon, 74-72.
Roper led all players with 26 points, connecting on seven of 16 shots from the floor and 10 of 11 from the free throw line as Brevard (0-1) connected on 48.2 percent (27-56) of their field goal attempts in the game. Gaither Hendrix added 12 points and four assists in his first collegiate game with the Tornados, while Drew Schauss added 10 points and four rebounds as Brevard held a 37-35 halftime lead over the Crusaders.
Barbee and Kyle Phillips were the scoring leaders in the game for Belmont Abbey (3-0) as Barbee led the way with 23 points, while Phillips added 21 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the contest. Terrone Sheffey added 13 points, going eight of nine from the free throw line, with eight of his points coming in the second half in helping to guide the Crusaders in the comeback.
Sheffey opened the scoring in the first half, connecting on his first three-point attempt of the game and Jay Council added a jumper as the Crusaders went up 5-0 in the first minute of the contest. The Tornados came roaring back with a 13-0 run capped by a layup by Darius Moose as Brevard went up 13-5 with 14:04 to play in the opening period.
Belmont Abbey would come back to tie the contest at 17 on a jump shot by Matthew Graves and the teams would stay within four points of each other the remainder of the half. Jermichael Tanner drove in for a layup to give the Tornados a 37-33 lead with 1:32 left in the half and after a Graves’ layup brought the game back to within two points, a pair of missed three-pointers by Belmont Abbey in the final nine seconds of the half gave the Tornados the 37-35 lead heading into the locker room.
Brevard built their largest lead of the second half on a layup by Moose off the assist from Hendrix with 18:22 to play in the game, going up 41-35, but the Crusaders came back to tie the game up at 43 on a three-pointer by Tyshawn Good with 15:20 to play.
Belmont Abbey took the lead for good following a jumper from the elbow by Phillips to put the Crusaders up 48-47 with 12:26 on the clock. The Crusaders built an eight-point lead several times in the second half, the latest at the 4:38 mark following a Barbee layup to go up 64-56, but the Tornados battled back, keeping the game in striking distance with an 11-4 run to bring it back within one as Roper scored seven points during the stretch to put the game at 68-67 with 56 seconds left on the clock.
The teams traded points as Phillips connected on another elbow jumper, while Roper placed in a pair of free throws, but two Belmont Abbey offensive rebounds and two free throws by both Sheffey and Barbee put the game away for the Crusaders. A three-pointer at the buzzer by Roper finished the scoring in the contest as the Tornados fell to Belmont Abbey, 74-72.
Brevard continues their 2010-2011 opening road trip on Saturday, November 27th, as they head to Gaffney, S.C. to take on Limestone College in non-conference action. Tipoff for the Tornados and the Saints in Timken Gymnasium is set for 4 p.m.