Brevard, N.C. – D’Mario Curry scored 30 points to lead Lincoln Memorial University past Brevard, 79-69, Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Gymnasium. The win is LMU’s third straight, while Brevard has dropped two consecutive games.
Brevard (7-5, 1-3 South Atlantic Conference) got the game’s first basket, a short jumper from Sam Carlisle (Raleigh, N.C.) on their first possession, 19 seconds into the game, but Lincoln Memorial responded with a three-pointer from Justin Allen (Lithonia, Ga.) to take a 3-2 lead with 19:10 left in the half. A minute later, tempers flared after Wadner Joseph (Miami, Fla.) was whistled for an over-the-back foul. Unhappy with the call, Joseph lost his cool, shoving Sean Ferretti (Amherst, N.Y.) to the floor, drawing a technical foul. Nathan Whitmire (Rosman, N.C.) hit one of two free throws to tie the game at three.
After Joseph was sent to the bench, Curry (Detroit, Mich.) entered the game and immediately took over. After a Whitmire trifecta gave Brevard the lead, 8-6, with 17:06 left in the first half, Curry kicked off an 8-0 Railsplitter rally with his second consecutive LMU basket to tie the game at eight. Scott Erland (Pegram, Tenn.) entered the game seconds later and promptly knocked down back-to-back threes to give Lincoln Memorial a 14-8 advantage at the 14:12 mark.
The teams remained tight, with the Railsplitters maintaining a small lead for the next 5:05, until a three-pointer by Joseph Chilton (Brasstown, N.C.) and a free throw from Carlisle tied the teams at 18 apiece with 9:51 left in the half. Brevard would tie the game four more times, including a lay-up from Ferretti with 20 seconds left in the half to send the teams to the halftime locker room tied at 33-33.
After Whitmire’s third long ball tied the game at 38, Cody Siniard (Brevard, N.C.) gave Brevard a 41-38 lead with 15:57 left in the game. Carlisle added a free throw :43 later to stretch the lead to four, at which point Curry checked in and took the Railsplitters on his back.
With three lay-ups and three free throws, Curry led LMU on a 9-2 run to put Lincoln Memorial up 47-44 with 13:31 on the clock. Chilton ended the run with a jumper of his own to cut the gap to one, but then Curry handed the scoring load off to Dominic Parker (Raleigh, N.C.)
Lincoln Memorial launched an 8-2 run, including two three-pointers from Parker, to build a 55-48 lead with 11:35 left in the game. After the two teams traded baskets for the next two minutes and change, Curry built the lead to seven again with a pair of free throws to put the Railsplitters up 59-52 with 9:03 to go.
Brevard roared back with an 8-3 run, including a three-pointer and lay-in from Darin Dellinger (Stanley, N.C) to make the game 62-60, and when Whitmire was fouled while shooting by Joseph with 5:12 to play, the Tornados had two free throws to tie the game.
But Whitmire could hit only one freebie, and the Railsplitters made Brevard pay. Erland regained momentum for Lincoln Memorial with two consecutive three-point bombs, and Curry added a jumper and two free throws to put LMU up, 72-61, with 1:50 to play. Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C.) ended the 10-0 rush with a short jumper 1:34 before the final bell, but Brevard could never cut the deficit lower than eight points and fell in the end, 79-69.
“Lincoln Memorial has a great player in D’Mario Curry, and credit goes to him for playing a great game, but at the same time our team didn’t do a lot of the things we talked about in practice leading up to this game,” Brevard coach Michael Jones said after the loss. “We didn’t deny Curry the ball the way we wanted to, and we didn’t run our offense the way we would like.”
Lincoln Memorial shot 42.9% from the floor; the Railsplitters are the third straight opponent to shoot above 40% against Brevard. “I think the change in defense has a lot to do with the teams we played this week,” Jones said. “These are good offensive teams and they attacked us well.”
Curry’s 30 points is the highest total of any opposing player against Brevard this season, and his double-double is the second from a Brevard opponent this season, as he grabbed ten rebounds. (Belmont Abbey’s Chad Patus tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds against BC on November 29.) Erland added 12 points, all from long distance. Lincoln Memorial grabbed more rebounds than Brevard, winning the glass 28-26; no other team had outrebounded the Tornados yet this season.
Whitson led Brevard with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Whitmire followed his lead with 11 points. Dellinger and Carlisle added ten each for Brevard, who has lost two straight games for the first time all season.
Brevard looks to get back on the winning track with an out-of-conference game against Erskine on Monday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at Boshamer; the Tornados outlasted the Flying Fleet, 59-55, on November 22. Lincoln Memorial travels to the Palmetto State of South Carolina on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. showdown with Newberry.