Men's Basketball

Tornados weather Bobcat storm, 76-68

Tornados weather Bobcat storm, 76-68
Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. - Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) scored 10 points in the second half to lead a furious rally by the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team, as the Bobcats fell to Brevard College by a score of 76-68 in non-conference action on Monday night in Williams Gymnasium.

Brevard (1-2) connected on 41.3 percent of its field goal attempts on the night, including a 48.3 percent clip in the second half, while limiting the Bobcats (3-2) to a 34.8 percent mark from the floor. The Tornados edged the Bobcats on the glass by a 46-45 margin, including a 30-28 advantage on the defensive boards, while converting 17 LMC turnovers into 16 points.

Gaither Hendrix (Lenoir, N.C.) poured in a game-high 17 points to pace the Tornados, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Josh Roper (Charlotte, N.C.) chipped in 16 points, six rebounds and a game-high four steals, while Josh Jordan (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Vincent Dombrowski (Philadelphia, Pa.) posted 12 and 10 markers, respectively. Jordan also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

Sepokas paced the Bobcats with 16 points, knocking down 5-of-11 attempts from the floor while posting game-highs of eight rebounds and six assists. Sam Youse (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Will Lopez (Sydney, Australia) chipped in 10 and nine points, respectively, as Lopez led the second-half charge for the Bobcats with a trio of late three-pointers. Sepokas also posted a team-high three steals, while Youse dished out a trio of assists.

Brevard opened the game on a tear, jumping out to an early 13-1 lead in the first four minutes before Lees-McRae responded, launching a 10-0 run to cut the margin to 13-11 on a Gerry Hairston (Winston-Salem, N.C.) jumper with 11:17 remaining in the half. The Tornados would answer with a spurt of their own, pushing the lead to 30-21 with a 17-10 run, which was capped by a Jordan layup with 4:11 left in the period before Brevard took a 32-24 lead into the intermission.

The Tornados carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 9-0 run to push the lead to 41-24 with 17:22 remaining. After Lees-McRae trimmed the margin to 42-28 with a 4-1 spurt, Brevard regained control, launching a 17-7 run to stretch the lead to 59-35 on a Hendrix triple with 10:18 to play.

Lees-McRae would begin to chip away, cutting the lead to 68-48 on a Sepokas jumper with 2:48 remaining to kick-start the rally. Lopez answered the call over the next several possessions, knocking down a trio of three-pointers over the next two minutes to lead the Bobcats on a tremendous 18-4 run, which cut the margin to 72-64 on Lopez's third triple with 35 ticks left on the clock. The Bobcats would trim the lead to 74-68 on a Matt Eller (Lake Norman, N.C.) jumper with three seconds left before Dombrowski connected on a pair of late free throws to cap the victory.

The Bobcats return to the court on Wednesday when they host Pfeiffer University to open their Conference Carolinas schedule. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the women's game against Pfeiffer.

- LMC -