Brevard, N.C. - Darius Moose scored a career high 22 points, connecting on three three-pointers and Jermichael Tanner added a career high 14 points, but Justin Steigerwald scored 17 of his game high 23 points in the second half, including a jumper in the short right corner as the shot clock expired with 1:18 remaining as the Tornados fell in SAC action on Saturday to Tusculum, 74-63.
The Tornados (1-9, 0-2 SAC) did their best to spoil former BC head coach Michael Jones’ first trip back to Boshamer Gymnasium with the visiting Pioneers (4-4, 1-0 SAC), holding the lead through the majority of the first half as Moose and Drew Schauss scored 11 points apiece in the first 20 minutes. However, Steigerwald and Tommy Klempin combined for 30 of Tusculum’s 40 points in the second half and the Pioneers held the 17-10 rebounding advantage in the half in powering their way to the victory.
Moose was 8-for-12 from the floor to lead Brevard with 22 points, while Schauss added 16 points and a team high six rebounds for the Tornados as Brevard shot 43.4 percent (23-53) from the floor. Tanner added a career high 14 points, going 5-for-6 from the floor and added two three-pointers and three assists in the loss.
Steigerwald led all players with 23 points, going 10-for-13 from the floor and Klempin was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line in scoring 17 points as the Pioneers connected on 56.9 percent (29-51) of their attempts from the field. Jordan Davidson added 17 points and filled the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals, while Larry Smith paced the offense with eight assists to go with four points in the win.
Davidson and Klempin put the Pioneers up early in the contest, scoring the first four points, before the Tornados went on a 9-0 run with Moose providing six early points as the Tornados held the 9-4 lead at the 17:02 mark. Hendrix followed with a three-pointer, but Tusculum rallied to tie the game up for the first time at the 12:06 mark as Davidson recorded the steal and dunk on the fast break, and completed the three-point play with a free throw to put the Pioneers up 15-14.
The teams traded the lead back-and-forth over the next five minutes before the Tornados took their final lead of the half as Chavis Hamilton connected on a free throw at the 5:49 mark to put Brevard up 24-23. Davidson answered with a turnaround jumper in the paint on the next Pioneers’ possession and after a Moose three-pointer tied the game up at 29 apiece at the 3:37 mark, Darius Carter scored five consecutive points for Tusculum as the teams went into the break with the Pioneers holding the 34-31 lead.
Three times the Tornados cut the lead to within one before a three-pointer by Tanner from the left corner knotted the game up at 50 apiece with 9:30 to play in the game. Steigerwald answered with a three-pointer and Davidson followed with a jumper to extend the lead back to five as the teams began to battle it out in the final eight minutes of the game.
A 7-3 run by Tanner against the Pioneers brought the game back to within one at the 6:44 mark, a Moose layup at the 5:14 mark cut the score down to 62-61, and free throws by both Tanner and Aleksandar Vasiljevic kept the Tornados within one possession throughout the second half, but the Tornados were held scoreless for the final 3:25 of the game, and Klempin scored four of the final 10 Pioneers points as Tusculum was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 37 seconds of the contest as the Tornados fell at home, 74-63.
Brevard takes nearly a month off before welcoming Young Harris College to Brevard, N.C. and Boshamer Gymnasium on Saturday, December 31st. Tipoff between the Tornados and the Mountain Lions is set for 2 p.m.