FERRUM — Brevard (North Carolina) College and Ferrum College share a junior college past and a past NCAA Division III conference affiliation albeit a brief one.
Saturday, the similarities ended there.
There were a ton of differences evident in match-up on the basketball court, one that concluded with Ferrum squaring its record and Brevard failing to erase a zero from its victory ledger.
The Panthers (2-2) scored in the 40s in both halves, but they were much more dominant in the opening stanza as opposed to the final one in an 81-56 non-conference men’s basketball triumph at William P. Swartz Gymnasium.
Rashad Reed scored a game-best 17 points to lead Ferrum and James Smith Jr. added 14.
All 20 players who dressed saw action with 12 of those players, eight of whom came the bench, scoring points.
Three days removed from 22-point loss to Greensboro in a game in which the Panthers absorbed a barrage a 3-point field-goal firepower from the Pride, Ferrum blew back the Tornadoes by 25 points, a season-best difference in points in a victory.
The Panthers led by 23 points, 40-17, at intermission, but needed a 3-pointer from steps away from their mid-court logo by reserve Isaiah Ellison to captured the second half 41-39.
Brevard (0-4), the fourth former USA South Athletic Conference foe that Ferrum has faced this season, led 7-5 early before the Panthers manufactured a 23-2 scoring surge to take command.
The Tornadoes netted their seventh point with 16:12 showing and tallied their ninth point two minutes later, but they didn’t surpass single digits in scoring until the 5:22 mark. By that time, the difference was 17 points, 28-11.
Ferrum finished the half by scoring 12 of the period’s last 18 points.
The Panthers limited Brevard to 33.3 percent (7 of 21) shooting in the first half, including an 0 of 7 clip from the 3-point arc.
The Panthers countered by converting 14 of 31 field-goal tries (45.2 percent); they were 6 of 18 from long distance.
In the second half, the shooting percentage for both teams increased, but it was Brevard that witnessed a drastic resurrection of its numbers – the Tornadoes were 14 of 25 (56 percent) from the field, 7 of 14 (50 percent) from 3-point territory.
“We played real well in the first half, but in the second, I think we had it on cruise control. We’re not good enough to win that way. I think we can be good, but we’ve got to play hard the entire game,’’ third-year Ferrum head coach Tyler Sanborn said.
The difference remained in the high teens and 20s for the majority of the second half. Brevard did close the gap to 16. (52-36) with 10:16 left. Ferrum led by 30 (69-39) after Caleb McReed made two free throws with 5:07 remaining and by a high of 32 (76-44) after Khalid Davis’ 3-pointer with 3:05 to play.
A 9-0 run by Brevard, one that produced a 76-53 score, ended with Kendall Dixon’s lay-up with 1:01 left. Each team’s last points came on a 3-point field goal.
Levi Lamb, with a team-best 16, and Ja’Michael Boone, with 13, accounted for more than half of Brevard’s points.
Seven other players scored for Brevard with the best output of seven points coming from starter Cannon Lamb.
Eleven players saw action for Brevard.
For the Panthers, Brandon Reeves finished with nine points, Marcus Plair and Kajuan Madden-McAfee each tallied eight and Kalip Jones scored seven.
Also, McReed had five, Ellison, Davis and Everett Palmer each had three and Dixon and Carrington Young each had two.
Ferrum won the rebounding battle 40-24; the Panthers dominated the offensive backboards 15-5.
Plair grabbed a game-best seven rebounds, while McReed and Madden-McAfee each corralled six.
Nineteen of Ferrum’s 29 field goals were produced by an assist. Smith distributed a team-best five assists.
Seven players combined for 11 3-pointers for Ferrum, and the Panthers were 12 of 17 from the free-throw line.
Ferrum has surpassed the 80-point mark in each of its two wins; it totaled in the 60s in each of its two setbacks.
The Panthers face one last USA South foe this season when they play Averett University on Dec. 9.
Today, Ferrum takes on Berry (Ga.) College at 2 p.m. in a pre-Thanksgiving Day matinee at Swartz Gym. Berry defeated Ferrum by three points last year.
Also non-league tests against Catholic, Sewanee and Hood and exhibition game against Division I Virginia Military Institute (VMI) are forthcoming.
The Panthers play two Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) games early next month: at Virginia Wesleyan (Dec. 1) and home against Lynchburg (Dec. 4).
With the start of the new year, Ferrum does not venture outside the ODAC.