Colton McGriff scored a career-high 26 points to go along with 11 rebounds and the Covenant men's basketball team survived a late rally as they pulled off a 70-67 victory over Millsaps on Saturday afternoon inside Barnes Physical Education Center.
Covenant improves to 3-1 on the season and is undefeated against opponents from the Southern Athletic Association (3-0). Millsaps drops to 1-3 on the season.
It was the second career double-double for McGriff with the first coming against Maryville on January 11, 2012. The junior was 9-of-14 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free throw line while grabbing all 11 rebounds on the defensive end. The 11 rebounds also tie a career-best for McGriff.
Covenant also received 14 points on four 3-pointers and 5-of-7 shooting from reserve Ben Phelps. Micah Turner had seven points and seven rebounds and Nate Frierson had a team-high three assists.
The teams traded buckets for most of the first half until Covenant seized momentum in the final minutes of the period. Covenant held a 31-30 lead with 2:51 left in the half before rattling off a 12-2 scoring run to end the period with a 43-32 lead. Turner made an acrobatic layup with three seconds left to end the first half.
Covenant kept a sizeable lead for the first eight minutes of the second half. The Scots took their largest lead of the game at 59-42 after a McGriff layup at the 12:39 mark of the second half.
Millsaps would not go away as they slowly chipped away at the Covenant lead. Ryan Berger's layup with 2:19 remaning trimmed the Covenant margin to just 68-65. Covenant forced Millsaps into turnovers on its next two possessions and McGriff made a pair of free throws giving Covenant a 70-65 lead with 1:22 left.
After Millsaps again cut the Covenant lead to three at 70-67 on Dustin Aubert free throws, McGriff missed a tough layup with 29 seconds left giving Millsaps one last chance. With time running out, Millsaps' Murray Kastner got a look at a 3-pointer from the left wing, but the shot went off the back iron and McGriff secured the rebound and the win for the Scots.
Marc Robertson led three Millsaps players in double figures with 15 points, all on 3-pointers. Berger notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Kastner added 13 points.
Covenant again shot the ball well as they connected on 48.1 percent (25-of-52) from the field. The Scots also made 15-of-20 from the charity stripe. Millsaps was shot 44.7 percent (21-of-47). Both teams had 31 rebounds.
The Scots will be on the road on Tuesday when they face Oglethorpe in Atlanta. Game time is slated for 8 p.m.