Brevard, N.C. - Josh Roper led all scorers with 37 points and hit seven three-pointers in the game, but Danny Sanders led four Lions in double figures with 26 points of his own as Mars Hill topped the Tornados in Boshamer Gymnasium on Monday night, 93-86.
Roper was 13 of 24 from the floor in the contest and seven of 14 from distance in leading the Brevard (14-6, 6-3 SAC) offense, and contributed on the defensive end with a pair of blocked shots and three steals. Jonathan Whitson added his sixth double-double of the season with 24 points and 13 rebounds to go with a pair of blocked shots as the Tornados redirected eight Mars Hill field goal attempts in the game. Darin Dellinger added six assists on the offensive end for Brevard, moving him within two of Cody Siniard’s career record of 208, while Sam Carlisle added 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in the game.
Mars Hill (11-8, 6-3 SAC) was led by Sanders as the senior went nine of 17 from the floor to go with four blocked shots and three steals. The South Atlantic Conference’s leading scorer was paced by teammate Stoney Polite who added 24 points, while Robin McElroy, 12, and Julian Mack, 11, each reached double figures for Coach Nash.
Roper opened up the game with a layup to put the Tornados up 2-0, but Mars Hill would respond with a 10-4 run to go up 10-6 on a free throw by Sanders at the 15:36 mark. The Lions would retain the lead throughout the remainder of the first half, going up by 16 at one point at 26-10 on a layup by McElroy with 9:12 remaining in the opening period, but a late Tornados surge capped by a three-pointer by Roper sent the teams into the locker room at the halfway point with Mars Hill up, 43-33.
The Tornados opened the second half with a 20-11 run to bring the game back within two points on another three-pointer by Roper at the 13:03 mark at 55-53. A little over three minutes later Roper followed a Whitson layup with another three-pointer as Brevard took the lead at 63-62 with 9:34 on the clock. The Lions would respond with a 10-1 run to go up 72-64 on a free throw by Mack and held on to win despite Roper’s 11 points in the final 2:44 of the game as the junior guard attempts to bring the Tornados back.
Brevard is back in action on Wednesday, February 3rd, as the Tornados travel to Shuford Gymnasium to take the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne University. Tipoff in Hickory, N.C. is scheduled for 8 p.m.