Brevard College and the North Greenville women battled back and forth the entire game, but it was the Tornados who hit the crucial baskets at the end as they defeated the hosts 81-76 at Hayes Gym in Tigerville.
Freshman guard Karly Stache scored 24 points on 8-14 from three-point range to lead NGU. Amanda Milner scored 15 points, Bridgett Smith had 15 and Mindy Greenstone added 13 for the Crusaders. (13) all were in double digits for the Crusaders. Samantha Winn led four Tornados in double figures with 21 points.
After a 43-43 tie at halftime, the two teams took turns holding the lead and there were four lead changes in the second half. NGU trailed by only three points with 13 seconds left, but Brevard’s Amanda Whitaker hit a layup with 13 seconds left to clinch the Tornados fifth win. They are now 5-12, while NGU is now 9-9.
Both teams put on a shooting display in the first half, combining to go 15-27 (55.6 percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
Stache led the Crusaders hitting 6-8 from three-point distance for a game high 18 points at the half.
Both teams continued to stay hot at the beginning of the second half as Whitney Smith knocked down a three on the Crusaders first trip down the court, while Lindsay Brendle and Anna Schlobohm each connected outside in the opening minutes for Brevard.
A pull-up three in transition by Holli Flippo gave the Tornados a 59-58 lead with 11:47 left in the game, a lead Brevard tenuously held on to for the next four minutes before Winn's fourth three-pointer of the game gave the Tornados a 70-63 left at the 7:35 mark.
Back-to-back jumpers by Schlobohm and Amber Roberts gave the Tornados their largest lead of the game with 6:27 left at 74-64, before a layup by Milner and another three from the top of the key by Stache brought the game back within single digits.
Staked to a two point lead with 4:59 left on the clock, the Tornados patiently attacked the Crusaders defense, passing the ball amongst themselves before finding openings for Whitaker and Winn to expand the lead to five with 2:17 on the clock at 79-74.
With the Crusaders within three, Whitaker called for the ball on the left block and after receiving the pass from Wharton, went up and under the defense to put in a layup to give the Tornados their fifth win of the season.
The Tornados shot 46.0 percent (29-63) from the field and 13-26 (50.0 percent) from three point range, while holding the Crusaders to 40.3 percent (27-67).
NGU will take to the road for two games next week before returning home to Hayes Gym on Tuesday, Feb. 3 for a 5:30 p.m. contest against Southern Wesleyan.