Brevard rallies past Lees-McRae, 71-66

Box score

BREVARD, N.C. --- The Brevard College men's basketball team rallied from a late deficit in the second half, and held off a last-minute surge by Lees-McRae College en route to a 71-66 victory on Monday evening in non-conference play.

Brevard (1-7) posted a field goal percentage of 41 percent on the evening, including a 44.8 percent clip in the first half, as Lees-McRae (0-5) recorded a 42.9 percent mark from the floor. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 42-33 margin, including a 17-13 edge on the offensive boards, as Brevard converted 15 LMC miscues into 23 points.

Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) paced the Bobcats with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while going 6-for-8 from the charity stripe. Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) added 13 points, three assists, and three steals, as Gideon Oji (Imane in Kogi, Nigeria) chipped in eight markers and a team-high seven rebounds.

Gaither Hendrix poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting to lead the way for Brevard, as Darius Moose nearly recorded a double-double with 13 markers and a contest-best nine rebounds. Drew Schauss added 12 points, as Hendrix and Jermichael Tanner each dished out a game-high four assists.

Brevard got off to a hot start in the first half, taking an early 13-6 lead on a three-pointer by Gerel Simmons before the Bobcats responded with a 6-2 spurt, trimming the margin to 15-12 on an Oji layup at the 12:11 mark.

After Brevard pushed the lead to 28-17 with a 13-5 run, the Bobcats answered with a 13-2 surge, evening the tally at 30-30 following an Oji layup with 1:03 to go in the half. Brevard then countered with a 5-0 spurt to take a 35-30 lead into the intermission after a buzzer-beating layup by Tanner.

Lees-McRae answered in the early moments of the second half, opening the period with an 11-4 run to take a 41-39 lead on a pair of freebies by Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) at the 15:10 mark. After Brevard answered with a 6-0 spurt to take a 45-41 lead, the Bobcats countered with a 12-3 surge, opening their largest lead of the game at 53-48 on a Will Lopez (Sydney, Australia) triple at the 8:00 mark.

Brevard countered once again, launching a 15-4 run over the next five and a half minutes to take a 63-57 lead on a three-point play by Moose with 2:33 to play. The Tornadoes would hold on from there, pushing the margin to 68-59 on a Schauss triple two minutes later before Sepokas closed out the game with a last-second three-pointer.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Thursday when the Bobcats travel to Greeneville, Tenn. to resume their previously suspended contest against Tusculum College. Play was suspended on Nov. 22 with Tusculum leading 44-30 at the 17:28 mark of the second half. The contest will resume at 7 p.m. in Pioneer Arena.

- LMC -