Mars Hill, N.C. – Danny Sanders scored 28 points and P.J. Gore added 24 as Mars Hill drilled Brevard, 95-78, Saturday afternoon at Stanford Arena. With the win, the Lions (12-7, 3-6 South Atlantic Conference) avenge an earlier loss to the Tornados (10-9, 2-7 SAC), 90-80 on January 3.
Sanders (Shelby, N.C.) hit seven of 12 three-point shots en route to his 28 points, while Gore (North Myrtle Beach, S.C.) was 9-16 from the floor in scoring 24. Stoney Polite (Morganton, N.C.) added 14 points for the Lions, who have beaten Brevard five straight times at Stanford Arena. Mars Hill shot 47.9% from the floor and outrebounded Brevard, 39-34.
Cody Siniard (Brevard, N.C.) led the Tornados with a career-high 16 points, including a 3-4 clip from the land of three, while Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C.), wearing a heavy brace on his right knee after spraining the leg Wednesday against Newberry, added 15 points. Darin Dellinger (Stanley, N.C.) scored 15 points of his own, and Shane Galloway (Rosman, N.C.) was 4-6 from downtown and scored a season-high 14 points.
Mars Hill opened the first half by scoring eight straight points, all from Gore, to lead 8-0 at the 17:38 mark. The Tornados got on the board with a jumper from Dellinger at the 17:15 mark, but then the Lions took off on a 13-2 run, including a pair of treys from Sanders, to lead 21-4 with 14:36 left in the half.
After a Polite three-pointer put the Lions up 28-11 at the 11:16 mark, Brevard showed life with a 10-2 run of their own. Andrew Freeman (Asheville, N.C.) capped the spurt with a long-range three to cut the gap to single-digits, 30-21, with 6:56 left in the period.
The momentum was short-lived. Mars Hill came back with seven straight, capped by a Sanders triple, to lead 37-21 with 5:04 on the clock. Another 11-3 run put the Lions up 48-24, 1:45 before halftime. But Brevard ended half with five straight, including a three-pointer from Whitson, to make the score 48-29 at the half.
Mars Hill controlled the second half in much the same fashion as the first. Another Sanders three made the score 68-37 at the 15:06 mark, and a free throw by Jamarl Glen (District Heights, Md.) stretched the lead to its highest point, 76-42, with 11:54 left.
Brevard spent the remaining part of the game whittling the gap to respectability. Galloway hit four consecutive three-point attempts in the final five minutes of the game; the last bomb cut the cap under 20 points, to 94-76, with 2:12 left. That was the last field goal either team would hit, as Mars Hill won, 95-78.
The Tornados were without two key perimeter players. Nathan Whitmire (Rosman, N.C.) is done for the season after breaking his thumb Wednesday against Newberry, while Terrence Johnson (Owensboro, Ky.) sat out with a knee sprain, also sustained Wednesday night.
The loss continues Brevard’s road woes in South Atlantic Conference play. Brevard is 0-4 against SAC teams away from Boshamer Gymnasium, losing by an average margin of 17 points per game.
Brevard returns to action Wednesday when they host Lenoir-Rhyne. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Mars Hill travels to Newberry College, also on Wednesday, for an 8 p.m. game.