Due West, S.C. – The Brevard College men’s basketball team moved to 3-0 on the season with a 59-55 road win at Erskine College in Due West, S.C. on Saturday afternoon in non-conference action.
Brevard remains undefeated at 3-0 with the win, as Erskine falls to 0-2 on the season, with both losses coming at home to South Atlantic Conference schools.
The two teams played a first half that was a defensive battle, as neither team could get their offense going. The Tornados only shot 28.6 percent (8-of-28), but were able to take a 20-18 point lead into the halftime break with strong defensive play.
The Tornados held Erskine to only six field goals in the first half, only holding the Flying Fleet to three free throws for the first 10 minutes of the game. Erskine shot 25 percent (6-of-24) from the field, while the Tornados forced the Flying Fleet to commit seven first half turnovers.
Junior forward Jonathan Whitson led the way in the opening half with seven points, including a turn-around jumper at the buzzer to put Brevard ahead at 20-18.
The Tornados came out of the gates in the second half on fire, as senior Joseph Chilton and junior guard Andrew Freeman hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the Tornados ahead by eight at 26-18.
Brevard pulled ahead of Erskine as much as 12 points at 32-20 in the early minutes of the second half, but the Flying Fleet battled back to make it a game in the final eight minutes of play.
The second half saw five lead changes and four ties, as the Tornados showed their resiliency down the stretch, holding off the Flying Fleet in the final minutes of play with key baskets from Chilton, Nathan Whitmire, Darin Dellinger and a free throw by Cody Siniard to seal the 59-55 win.
Leading the way for the Tornados was Whitson with 16 points in 34 minutes of action. Sam Carlisle added 10 points for the game on 5-of-7 shooting, while also pulling down five rebounds. Starters Dellinger and Freeman had nine and eight points apiece.
Defensively, the Tornados played great, holding Erskine to 38.3 percent shooting for the game and allowed them to make only six three-pointers as a team in the contest. The duo of Whitmire and Sean Ferretti did a superb job on Erskine’s leading scorer Brandon Wright. Although Wright had 20 points, he was 6-of-16 from the floor in hit only two-three pointers, where last season Wright had 31 points on eight three-point baskets against the Tornados.
Erskine was led by Wright’s 20 points, while Nick Riley had 13 points and four rebounds. Starters Dejan Nedelkovski and Marko Latinovic had eight points apiece.
The Tornados again out-rebounded their opponent, as Brevard hauled in 39 rebounds to Erskine’s 29 boards for the game.
The Tornados will have a week off before Coach Jones’ and his squad travel to Time Warner Arena, home of the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA, to take on Belmont Abbey at 2:30 p.m. Erskine will be in action again on Tuesday, November 25, when the Flying Fleet will take on Pfeiffer University.