Radford, Va. – The Brevard College men’s basketball team wrapped up its exhibition play on Friday night, as the Tornados fell to NCAA Division I and Big South member Radford University 74-55 in a sold out Peters Hall on the campus of Radford University.
Just like in their opening exhibition on Tuesday night at Gardner-Webb University, the Tornados got on the board first as Jonathan Whitson started of the scoring with a turn-around jump shot in the lane 50 seconds into the contest.
The Tornados Whitson would score on the next possession to go up 4-0, their largest lead of the contest.
Yet Radford did not wait long to get on the scoreboard as guard Kenny Thomas hit a three from the top of the key to cut the BC lead to one at 4-3 at the 18:19 mark of the first half. The three-pointer got the Highlanders rolling, as Radford outscored the Tornados 41-13 over the remainder of the half to take a 44-17 lead into the halftime break.
While the Highlanders torched the nets in the first 20 minutes of play, shooting 58.6 percent (17-of-26) from the floor overall and 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from behind the three-point arc, the Tornados struggled offensively connecting on 35.0 percent (7-of-21) from the field and were 0-6 from long range. Only four Tornados got in the scoring column for BC in the opening frame – Ferretti (2), Siniard (1), Dellinger (4) and Whitson who led all scorers with 10 points, as Brevard was plagued by 13 first half turnovers.
In the second half, the Tornados outscored the Highlanders 38-30, as BC turned the ball only nine times and held Radford to only nine made field goals in the final 20 minutes of play.
The Tornados, who cut the Radford lead to 20 points on three separate occasions, could not get any closer until the final 1:10 to play when BC cut the lead to 18 on a three-pointer by Whitson. Brevard got to within 18 points again with 28 seconds left in the contest when freshman Michael Gist hit a lay-up on an offensive rebound.
Whitson led all scorers with 23 points, as he connected on 9-of-15 field goal attempts including going 1-of-2 from long range. Redshirt junior Nathan Whitmire recorded eight points for the game, all in the second half, while guards Andrew Freeman and Darin Dellinger had six points apiece. Whitson also had a game-high eight boards, while redshirt junior Sam Carlisle hauled in seven rebounds for the game.
Leading the way for Radford was Thomas with 20 points, as he was 5-of-7 from behind the three-point line. The four other Highlander starters were also in double figures as Martell McDuffy had 13 points, Joey Lynch-Flohr and Artsiom Parakhouski recorded 11 points and guard Amir Johnson had 10 points. Lynch-Flohr also hauled in a game high eight rebounds.
For the game, Radford shot 48.1 percent overall and was 6-of-14 from behind the three-point arc. The Tornados, who were haunted by 24 turnovers on the night, were 20-of-53 from the field, 37.7 percent. After not making a single three-point in the first half, the Tornados hit six in the second half, shooting 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) for the contest.
Brevard College out-rebounded the Highlanders 38-36 for the contest.
With the win the Highlanders improve to 1-0 on the season.
The Tornados will open up their 2008-09 regular season on Tuesday, November 18, when they will play at home against Warren Wilson College. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off. It is the only home game in the remainder of the 2008 calendar year for Coach Jones’ squad, as Brevard will not be at home again until January 3 when they will play host to Mars Hill.