WISE, Va. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team (3-4, 1-0 SAC) defeated UVa-Wise (3-3, 0-1 SAC) by a score of 92-87 to open up South Atlantic Conference play Tuesday night.
Entering the second half tied at 37, Mars Hill outscored the Cavaliers 55-50 in the final 20 minutes of play to win their 2019 SAC opener.
Tied at 39 early in the second half, Mars Hill began to pull away with an 11-4 run, going up by seven with 16:09 left in the game. A Ja'Shawn Brooks layup with 14:18 to play provided the Lions' an 11-point lead. The Lions would go on to lead by as many as 17 with under 10 minutes to play following Jamal Bryant's free throw, converting on the three-point play.
With 5:17 remaining in the contest, the Cavaliers began their comeback bid. Trailing 75-66, the Cavaliers went on a 9-2 run to pull within two points with just over three minutes remaining. The duo of Brooks and Bryant came up clutch late, stringing together five straight points to rebuild the lead to seven. The Lions maintained the advantage for the remainder of the contest to pick up their first SAC win of the season.
Brooks recorded 14 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, going 4-of-8 from the floor and hitting six of his eight free throw attempts. Bryant drilled both three-pointer opportunities and hit all three free throw attempts.
The Lions trailed for a majority of the first half until the final four minutes of the half. With 3:21 remaining in the frame, Austin Gilyard's jumper pulled Mars Hill within two. Mars Hill closed out the half on a 6-2 run to enter the half tied at 37 apiece.
Bryant ended the contest with 20 points and seven rebounds while Nassyr Daniel added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Chance Sheffey led the Cavaliers with 25 points followed by Drew Greene's 16 on the night.
The Lions return home to take on Newberry on Saturday, November 30. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside Chambers Gymnasium.