Covenant Tops Berry In Overtime

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It took an extra five minutes of game time, but the Covenant men's basketball team does not mind. 

The Scots responded to a late Berry rally in the second half to earn a 94-90 overtime win on Saturday afternoon inside Barnes Physical Education Center.

With the victory, Covenant moves to 5-5 on the year and a season sweep of the Vikings. Berry drops to 3-5 for the season.

Colton McGriff scored a game-high 26 points to go along with 13 rebounds. The double-double was McGriff's third straight and fourth of the season. Nate Frierson had a career-high 23 points with five assists and three steals while going 12-of-15 from the foul line. Ben Phelps had 13 points, despite being in foul trouble for most of the contest, and Micah Turner added 11 points and five assists. Chris Boyd made his presence known with a career-high five blocks.

Covenant held a late lead as the second half wound under a minute to play. A technical foul, mixed with a personal foul, on the Vikings allowed Frierson and Phelps to drain four consecutive free throws giving the Scots an 80-73 lead with 59 seconds left. But Berry answered as they trimmed the Covenant lead to 81-78 after a Hunter Smoak 3-pointer with 31 seconds left. Berry would eventually tie the game at 82 with a Mac Whalen layup with 10 seconds left sending the game into overtime.

In the overtime period, McGriff got the Scots going with a conventional three-point play giving Covenant an 85-82 lead, one that they would not give back. With Covenant holding to a 91-90 lead and under a minute remaining, Phelps knocked down a pull-up jumper and was fouled on the play. Phelps completed the three-point play giving the Scots a 94-90 edge with 31 seconds left. 

Covenant was again efficient from the field as they made 50.8 percent (33-of-65) while connecting on 23-of-39 from the free throw line. The Scots also converted 23 Berry turnovers into 31 points.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with neither team leading by more than four points as the scored was 33-33 entering the break. In the second half, Covenant used a 19-7 run over the first seven minutes to build a 12-point edge at 52-40. The scoring spurt was capped by a Turner layup off an assist from Will Portlock.

Berry answered Covenant's intial burst in the half by going on a 17-5 run of its own to knot the score at 57 at the 9:38 mark.

Berry was led by leading scorer and rebounder Owen Jacobs. Jacobs registered his sixth double-double of the season with 25 points and 22 rebounds. Whalen tallied 18 points, Smoak added 15 of his own and A.J. Lewis chipped in 10. The Vikings were 44.6 percent (29-of-65) shooting and 26-of-35 from the foul line.

Covenant will be off for Christmas Break and will return to play in January. The Scots host USA South foe Ferrum on Friday, January 3 at 7:30 p.m.

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