BREVARD, N.C. – The Lions defeated SAC rival Brevard 81-68 in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action Wednesday night in Boshamer Gymnasium. Mars Hill improved to 5-18 overall and 3-14 in the league. The Tornados fell to 2-21 overall and 0-17 in the SAC.
Dotson Griffin led MHU with a double-double scoring 18 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. It was his second double-double on the year as a Lion. Justin Hartfield added 20 points. He scored 12 of his 20 points at the charity stripe. MHU connected on 42.1% (24-57) of their shots from the floor, 33.3% (5-15) of their three-point attempts and 75.7% (28-37) of their shots at the foul line. The Lions won the battle of the boards, 39-26. Mars Hill scored 24 points off Brevard miscues and received 29 points from their bench in the win.
Shelby Parris scored a game-high 27 points for the Tornados. Levi Lamb came off the bench to add 10 points. Brevard connected on 34.5% (19-55) of their shots from the floor and 24% (6-25) of their attempts from behind the arc. The Tornados were 24-27 (88.9%) at the free throw line in the contest.
A three-pointer by Justin Hartfield in the Lions first offensive possession of the game gave MHU a 3-0 lead with 19:44 on the clock and Mars Hill would lead from wire-to-wire. Hartfield extended the Lions lead to seven points (11-4) with 16:32 left in the first after he scored in the paint. Brevard scored five unanswered points to trim their deficit to just two points (11-9) with 14:27 left in the first frame after Stevie Williams scored inside. The Lions then went on a 24-9 run to take a comfortable 35-18 advantage with 8:58 left in the first period after Vernon Jackson hit a high percentage shot. Brevard outscored MHU 19-14 in the final minutes of the first half to send the teams into the locker room with the Lions leading by 12 points (49-37) at the break.
Bennett Wilson gave the Lions a 10-point edge (55-45) with 15:35 left in the second half before Brevard scored six unanswered points cut the Lions lead to just four points (55-51) with 12:19 left in the second half after Levi Lamb hit a three-pointer. Mars Hill answered the call going on a 22-8 run to take their largest lead of the contest of 19 points (77-58) with 2:15 left in regulation after Hartfield converted a foul shot. The Lions cruised down the stretch to a 13-point (81-68) road victory.
Mars Hill will host SAC foe Queens on Saturday in Stanford Arena. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.