Due West, S.C. - One game after tying the Brevard College single game scoring record, Josh Roper broke the scoring record shared by himself and Jonathan Whitson with 41 points and all were needed as the Tornados outlasted the Erskine College Flying Fleet in triple overtime on Monday night, 91-81.
Roper led the way for the Tornados (12-5, 4-2 SAC) with his 41 point effort, going 14-21 from the field and 6-9 from the three-point line, connecting on the game-tying three-pointer to send the contest to a third overtime. The junior from Charlotte, N.C. added five assists, five rebounds and two blocks in the game, playing 47 minutes in the contest. Darin Dellinger added 11 points, going 7-8 from the free throw line in the second half and overtime periods and Shane Galloway recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Tornados connected on 50.8 percent (30-59) of their attempts from the floor. Nathan Whitmire added 10 points and Whitson had eight points and eight rebounds as Brevard swept the season series over Erskine.
The Flying Fleet (6-7, 3-4 CC) were led by Brandon Wright as the senior had 16 points in the first half en route to a 27-point night, going 13-15 from the free throw line and 7-8 from the line in overtime. Marko Latinovic added 21 points and eight rebounds in 46 minutes and Jay Boulware had 15 points, going 5-11 from the floor in the loss. Dejan Nedelkovski scored all eight of his points in the overtime periods, keeping Erskine in the game through the extra time.
Brevard opened the game hitting their first seven field goal attempts, including their first four attempts from behind the arc as Roper connected on a pair of three-pointers and Nathan Whitmire and Shane Galloway each hit from outside as the Tornados opened up a 16-14 lead in the first 6:10 of the first half. The Tornados went on a 10-0 run spanning the next three minutes as the Roper scored eight of Brevard’s 10 points in the stretch and Whitson collected an offensive rebound and went back up as the Tornados went up 26-14 with 10:13 to play in the opening half.
The lead stood at 13 in Brevard’s favor on a layup by Darin Dellinger with 3:12 to go in the half at 33-20, but the Flying Fleet responded with back-to-back three-pointers by Wright and Latinovic to cut the score to seven. With time expiring in the opening period, Latinovic went up for the offensive rebound on a Wright miss and laid the ball in the basket as time expired in the opening period as the teams went into the locker room with the score 33-28 in favor of the guests.
Roper led the Tornados with 14 points in the first half, while Whitson had six points and seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes as Brevard connected on 46.2 percent (12-26) of their field goal attempts. Wright led all scorers with 16 points, hitting four three-pointers in the first half, while Latinovic had eight points as the Flying Fleet closed out the first half with an 8-0 run to bring the game to within five, despite shooting 30.0 percent (9-30) from the floor.
Erskine came out of the halftime break with a 10-2 run to tie the game up for the first time at the 14:32 mark as Latinovic converted a pair of free throw attempts, but the Tornados would again go up by five after a three-pointer by Roper and a layup by Dellinger to put Brevard in the lead 45-40. The teams would remain close as would tie the score five more times in the half before the Flying Fleet took their first lead since 1:30 into the game as Boulware drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc to put Erskine up 52-51 with 2:49 to play. The Tornados would come back and go up by three with nine seconds remaining in the half on a pair of free throws by Darin Dellinger. With time running out, Victor Street, Jr. launched a three-pointer from the top of the key that went through the net with two seconds remaining to tie the game up at 59 and send it into overtime.
In the first overtime, Erskine built the largest lead of the five minute period, going up by three points at 62-59 following a layup by Latinovic and a free throw by Nedelkovski, but the Tornados responded to tie the game up at 65 following a layup by Whitson. After a Roper layup put Brevard up 67-65 with six seconds remaining, the junior guard followed Wright on the other end, sending the Erskine senior to the line where he converted both free throw attempts to send the game to a second overtime tied at 67.
In the second overtime, Roper followed a Whitmire three-pointer with a layup for his 34th point of the game, breaking the Brevard College school record for points in agame at the 3:12 mark as the Tornados went up 72-69. A three-pointer by Nedelkovski tied the game up at 74 and Erskine went up by three at 79-76 following a technical from the Brevard bench with two seconds to play. However, a deadball offensive foul by Nedelkovski turned the ball over to the Tornados and Roper caught the inbounds pass, splitting the double-team before connecting on the game-tying three-pointer from the left elbow to send the game into a third overtime.
In the third overtime, the Tornados took the early lead as Sam Carlisle took the pass from Whitmire and made the layup to put Brevard up 81-79 and the Tornados outscored the Flying Fleet, 10-2 the rest of the way in recording the 91-81 victory.
The Tornados jump back into South Atlantic Conference play on Wednesday, January 20th, as Brevard hosts SAC opponent Carson-Newman College in Boshamer Gymnasium. Tipoff for the game between the Tornados and the Eagles is set for 8 p.m.