MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill men's basketball team used balanced scoring and a clinging defense to upend the visiting Brevard College Tornado on Wednesday evening inside Chambers Gymnasium. The Lions improved to 4-13 overall and 2-9 in the South Atlantic Conference, while Brevard dropped to 2-15 overall and 0-11 in the league.
Collin Hartman led the Lions offensively with a career-high 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. Bennett Wilson and Charles Moore chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively. For the contest MHU shot 49.2% (29-59) from the floor, including 7-of-15 from deep. The Lions dominated the glass to the tune of 48-25, while outscoring the Tornado 42-22 in the paint and 46-17 in bench points.
The early part of the first half was evenly contested as the two teams battled to a 7-7 tie heading into the first media timeout at the 15:50 mark. Beautiful interior passing and stingy defense gave the Lions a 15-14 advantage with 12:34 remaining in the opening period. That lead quickly grew to double-digits (28-17) as the Lions continued to pound the boards and get second-chance opportunities.
High-percentage shots accompanied tenacious defense and the Lions controlled every facet of the game in the first half on their way to a comfortable 47-27 lead at the half. Mars Hill shot 51.4% (19-37) in the first half, while holding BC to a cold 33.3% (9-27). The Lions also held monstrous advantages in rebounds (30-9), points in the paint (30-8), second chance points (17-0), and bench points (32-8) during the first twenty minutes of action.
Mars Hill began the second half just as it ended the first as Dotson Griffin threw down a powerful two-hand slam to give the Lions their biggest lead at 49-27 just ticks into the second half. However, Brevard reeled off a 15-6 run to narrow the gap to 55-42 at the 14:57 mark. Every time Brevard made a run to edge closer Mars Hill responded to keep the distance between the two.
With the score at 63-50 in favor of the Lions, Tavion Trimble found Hartman at the top of the key for a clutch three-pointer to push the lead back to 16 (66-50) with eight and a half to play in the contest. From that point it was all academic as the Lions cruised to the 82-68 win.
Shelby Parris led all scorers with a game-high 20 points, while JaMarquis Johnson tallied 15 in the losing effort. Brevard shot 41.5% (22-53) overall, including just 7-of-25 from three.
The Lions will return to action on Saturday, January 21, traveling to Wingate, N.C. to take on the Bulldogs of Wingate University. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.