Jessie Blankenship and Aleigha Williams combined for 42 points and 25 rebounds, but the Covenant women's basketball team fell victim to a last second 3-pointer as host North Carolina Wesleyan claimed a 75-72 overtime win on Friday night in USA South action.
Covenant trailed 72-69 with less than 20 seconds remaining, but Haley Soles was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer. The sophomore guard calmly knocked down all three free throws to knot the game at 72 apiece with 14.1 seconds left. N.C. Wesleyan quickly brought the ball down the floor where Shanice Goree drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with three seconds left to give the host Battling Bishops the victory.
Blankenship once again led Covenant (4-10, 1-5 USA South) with her sixth straight double-double as she tallied 23 points and 14 rebounds. Blankenship was 11-of-12 from the free throw line and 6-of-10 from the field. The senior forward has registered a double-double in all six conference games and has seven on the season.
Williams also had a standout night as she poured in 19 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. Alexis Storteboom also reached double figures with 10 points to go along with eight rebounds. Soles added eight points a team-high four assists.
Covenant took a 28-24 lead at the half thanks in large part to nine points apiece from Blankenship and Williams in the opening 20 minutes of play. The Scots extended their lead to 36-27 in the opening minutes of the second half after a 3-pointer from Soles.
N.C. Wesleyan eventually caught up and overtook the Scots to gain a five-point edge at 57-52 with under five minutes to play. But Covenant would not go away as Williams buried a jumper with 1:25 left to give the Scots a 59-58 lead.
Monet Edwards gave the Bishops a 62-61 lead with a jumper of her own with 19 seconds remaining, but Morgan Woodward would be fouled on the Scots' next possession while driving to the basket with eight seconds left. Woodward made the first free throw and missed the second and Blankenship came up with the rebound but was forced into a jump ball on a block by Kenyata Harris. The Bishops retained possession and had one last look at the hoop in regulation but Edwards' contested jumper went off the iron.
In the overtime, Storteboom scored Covenant's first four points to give the Scots a 66-62 lead. Once again, N.C. Wesleyan came back and tied the score at 69 on a Harris jumper and the Bishops would steal the ensuing inbounds pass which led to a Tiffany Bell layup. The hosts had a chance to secure the win at the free throw line but two missed free throws from Kourtney Salisbury left the door open for the Scots.
Bell and Goree each had 23 points to lead N.C. Wesleyan (4-5, 2-1 USA South). The Bishops shot 40.3 percent (31-of-77) from the field but were a dismal 6-of-23 from the foul line. Covenant had a 54-43 rebounding edge while shooting 41 percent (25-of-61) from the floor. The Scots also connected on 20-of-27 from the free throw line.
Covenant will travel to Raleigh, N.C., tomorrow to face USA South foe William Peace. Tip-time is 2 p.m.