BREVARD, N.C. – Jackson Whitley scored 24 points and added 12 rebounds and five assists while Davion Ayabarreno emerged with 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Methodist to a 90-82 victory over Brevard in men's basketball action at Boshamer Gym on Sunday afternoon.
The duo of Whitley and Ayabarreno were joined in double figure scoring by Bryan Rouse (17) Troynell Reese (14) as the Monarchs (6-2) finished 35-of-57 (61.4%) from the floor and 15-of-18 (83.3%) at the free throw line.
Whitley, who reached double figures by hitting 10-of-12 from the field, and Ayabarreno, who was successful on 8-of-14 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws, were instrumental in providing Methodist with a 52-30 edge in the paint.
The Tornados (1-6) were led offensively by the combination of Divese Carson (22 points), Levi Lamb (16), Stevie Williams (15) and JaMarquis Johnson (14). The group helped Brevard finish 30-of-65 (46.2%) from the floor and 14-of-29 (48.3%) from beyond the arc.
One of the keys to Brevard's offense was its play on the defensive end, which resulted in 11 steals and a 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers. Levi Lamb's quick hands forced six steals and Cannon Lamb added three.
After exploding for 22 points over the final seven minutes of the first half, Brevard began the second half with a 45-44 lead. Methodist opened the frame by scoring seven of the first 11 points, which included three from Ayabarreno, assuming a four-point advantage in the process.
The Monarchs managed to extend the lead to six on three occasions over the next four minutes, taking a 64-58 lead on a free throw by Ayabarreno, but Brevard bounced back with consecutive buckets by Jakob Bergen and Demari Hopper as they drew within two.
A layup by Rouse and jumper by Whitley gave Methodist breathing room, 70-64, before Reese's drive through the lane extended the advantage to eight. A series of free throws by Levi Lamb followed quickly by a layup and 3-pointer from Williams sparked the Brevard offense, which trailed 76-73 with 3:31 remaining.
The Monarchs continued their hot shooting, which resulted in a 17-for-29 (58.6%) outing in the second half, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers by Rouse to push the lead to eight. Two 3-pointers by Carson over the final 1:42 of the contest was not enough to help Brevard draw closer as Methodist closed out the eight-point win.
The Tornados enjoyed a solid first half offensively, knocking down 16-of-32 (50%) from the floor and 10-of-18 (55.6%) from beyond the arc. Johnson closed out the opening frame with a team-high 12 points, converting 4-of-7 from the field and 4-of-4 at the 3-point line. He was joined offensively by the tandem of Carson (11 points) and Levi Lamb (10), who combined for five 3-pointers in the half.
The key to success in the first half for Brevard was solid defense, which resulted in six steals and 14 points off turnovers. The Tornados also crashed the glass for 11 rebounds, pulling down five on the offensive glass.
Methodist took advantage of six points from Jackson Whitley as it opened up a 17-11 lead at the 13:55 mark. Johnson hit his second 3-pointer of the game, and Brevard's second in as many trips, before Levi Lamb drove home a dunk to pull the Tornados within one.
The Monarchs answered with a 14-4 that took five minutes off the clock, again highlighted by Whitley who scored eight points in the process, extending its lead to 31-23.
Brevard countered that run by closing out the half by scoring 22 of final 33 points, eight of which came courtesy of Williams. Williams began the rally by knocking down three free throws, following a foul by Whitley, and Carson found his range by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers as the Tornados made for a 35-32 contest.
Johnson was also instrumental in the burst, knocking down back-to-back treys to close out the half before Levi Lamb added a dunk as time expired to give Brevard a one-point advantage.
The Tornados host LaGrange on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. in their last contest before the Christmas holidays.