Covenant Women Hold On To Beat Averett 75-72

Saturday, January 4, 2014

For the second straight game, Jessie Blankenship registered a double-double and she led five players in double figures scoring as the Covenant women's basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak in a 75-72 win over Averett in USA South action Saturday afternoon.

Blankenship led a balanced offensive attack for Covenant, which moves to 4-6 overall and 1-1 in league play. Five scorers tallied double digits led by Blankenship's 16 points. The senior also gathered in 12 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double and third of the season.

Morgan Woodward tied her career-high with 14 points to go along with four assists and two steals. Kiaira Cooper also added 14 points and eight rebounds while Alexis Storteboom had 13 points and eight boards. Aleigha Williams chipped in 10 points.

Covenant shrugged off a cold shooting night on Friday to connect on 47.6 percent (30-of-63) from the field and 5-of-11 from downtown. The Scots also held a slim 38-35 advantage in rebounding. 

The Scots gained a lead as large as nine points in the opening half after a Blankenship layup made it 21-12 with 11:31 left. Averett recovered from that deficit to knot the score at 38 apiece heading into halftime.

A 3-pointer from Averett's Aundrea Burns gave the Cougars a brief 41-40 lead in the opening minute of the second half, but Covenant answered with an 8-0 scoring run that was capped by a Woodward layup at the 17:27 mark. The two teams would battle back-and-forth for the rest of the contest.

Trailing 69-68 with under two minutes left, Haley Soles knocked down her first 3-pointer of the season to give Covenant a two-point edge. Liz Dougherty connected on a pair of free throws with 1:04 left to stretch Covenant's lead to 73-70. After Averett made it a one-point game again with 13 seconds left, Cooper calmly hit two free throws to make it 75-72.

Burns then missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with six seconds left but after two missed free throws by the Scots, Averett had one last chance with two seconds remaining. Jessica Myers' heave from beyond halfcourt fell short, however, and Covenant gained a valuable conference win.

Averett (1-6, 0-2 USA South) was led by Nicole Garcia's 15 points. Brianna Taylor had 13 points and six boards. Burns and Myers each had 11, while Shannon Smith tallied 10. Alexis Sollars grabbed 10 rebounds. Averett was 44.6 percent (29-of-65) from the field.

Covenant will be back in action on Friday, January 10 against USA South foe Methodist. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. 

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