Sophomore forward LB Boyette totaled a career-high 25 points, while senior center Luke Bleynat logged a career-best 14 points, but the Brevard College men’s basketball team (0-2) dropped its home opener, 71-68, to Berry College (1-0) on Friday evening at the Boshamer Gymnasium.
Boyette, a sophomore from Charlotte, North Carolina, lit up the gym with 25 points on a 9-of-10 mark from the field that included a game-best 5-of-6 from three-point land. The forward also registered a team-high four rebounds.
Bleynat, a senior from nearby Asheville, North Carolina, poured in 14 points off the bench while hitting an efficient 5-of-6 from the field while hitting four 3-pointers. The center also tied teammate Quincy Carter for a team-best five assists. Carter led BC’s defensive efforts with three steals, while Carson Evans added eight points off the bench.
Berry was paced by Austin Brooks, who scored a game-high 27 with six rebounds. Chase Ellis added 12 points off the bench.
Brevard hit 14-of-31 from behind the arc as a team, hitting its 3-pointers at a 45.2% clip. Berry was able to hit 81% of its free throws and turned 21 Brevard turnovers into 20 points-off-turnovers; while also outscoring the Tornados in the paint, 38-20.
Both sides were tied 7-7 heading into the first media timeout before Bleynat and David Sealy hit consecutive long-range jumpers to put the Tornados up by six. Brevard used a 12-0 run to take a 19-7 lead at the 12:55 mark in the first half.
Berry was able to answer right back, using an 11-0 run of its own to make the score 19-18 with 6:01 left in the first half. Brevard was able to hit their next five 3-point jumpers, taking a 34-24 lead at the 3:12 mark.
After the media timeout, Boyette drained another long-range bucket as the Tornados took a game-high 13-point lead, 37-24. Berry ended the first half on a 7-0 run, as Brevard took a six-point advantage into the intermission, 37-31.
The second half started with five straight Berry points, as the Vikings were able to tie the score up twice. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Bleynat and Boyette pushed the Tornado advantage back up to six with 11:54 left to play.
Berry was able to regain the lead at the 6:47 mark on a fastbreak layup, making the score 58-57 in favor of the Vikings. Evans hit consecutive 3-pointers, however, as Brevard took the lead back, 63-60, with just over five minutes left to play.
The Vikings tied the score up at 64 and took a lead they would not relinquish on an and-one free throw. A critical offensive rebound by Berry with four seconds left on a missed free throw sealed the victory for the Vikings, as the visitors took the three-point triumph.
The Tornados will be back in action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as Brevard heads to The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.