Once again, No. 9-ranked Queens had to use a strong finish to overcome a slow start.
Down 10 points in the first half to last-place Brevard, the Royals (15-2, 9-2 South Atlantic Conference) fought their way back in the second half to take a 90-82 victory on Monday at Curry Arena.
Sean Morgan scored 22 points and Rob Lewis added 18 to help Queens bounce back from a 1-point loss at Wingate last Wednesday, a game in which the team trailed by 18 in the first half.
“We have to figure out a way to start better,” said Queens coach Bart Lundy. “This is becoming a trend for us.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Former East Meck standout Miles Leathers scored a game-high 34 points for the visiting Tornados (2-14, 1-9), who shot a blistering 70 percent from the field (14-of-20) in the first half on the way to a 41-38 halftime lead.
Three who mattered
Miles Leathers, Brevard: The senior forward hit his first 10 shots on the way to a 12-for-14 shooting night from the field.
Todd Withers, Queens: The sophomore guard had 10 rebounds to lead the Royals to a 42-21 advantage on the boards. He scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half.
Rob Lewis, Queens: The senior guard struggled in the first half – just 3 points. But he led the Royals’ opening surge in the second half, scoring 9 points in an 11-2 run that put Queens in control of the game.
For a high-scoring game, neither team shot well from the free throw line. Queens hit 20-of-36 (55.9 percent) and Brevard hit 15-of-27 (58.8 percent)
They said it
“You can’t let somebody come in and shoot 70 percent in your gym. We’ve got five games in 12 days, and offensively we’re doing just fine. Defensively, we’ve got to bring it a little better.” – Lundy
“We weren’t guarding very well in the first half, so coach told us at halftime that if we wanted to win the game we had to come out in the second half and do what we needed to do. We wanted this game to be a jump-start for us (after last Wednesday’s loss).” – Withers
Marquis Rankin scored 14 points and Daniel Camps added 12 for the Royals. Demarcus Threatt scored 24 points for Brevard.
Queens’ next game is at 8 p.m. Wednesday against South Atlantic Conference opponent Newberry.
Brevard will visit Queens just one more time as a member of the SAC. The Tornados will join Division III starting in the 2017-18 school year.