Covenant Women, Men Win Hoop Contests

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Covenant women's basketball team shot 64 percent in the second half and scored 60 points over the final two quarters to rally past Brevard, 86-78, on Friday evening at Boshamer Gym.

Covenant (10-11) has won four straight overall and the victory completes a season sweep of Brevard (10-8).

Five players scored in double figures for the Scots led by Bekah Walter's 20 points. Taylor Robinson came off the bench to score 15 points and grab seven rebounds, while Joanna Smith had 14 points and eight boards.

Emma Grimes was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, with three 3-pointers, and finished with 12 points and Kaley Hallmark tallied 11 points and four assists. Jessica Bell contributed eight points, four assists and three steals.

Covenant trailed 35-26 at halftime, but turned that around with its best second half of the season. The Scots were 9-of-15 from the field in the third period as the halftime deficit was erased when Hallmark buried a triple giving Covenant a 43-42 lead with 4:34 left in the period. The teams went back-and-forth over the final minutes of the third and were tied at 51-51 heading into the fourth.

Down 57-55 with 7:04 left in the fourth, Covenant rattled off a 12-2 run with Smith and Grimes doing all the damage. Smith had two baskets from the post and also added a pair of free throws during the run, while Grimes knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to help Covenant to a 67-59 lead with 4:36 remaining. Covenant got the margin up to 11 at 74-63 after a Robinson trey at the 3:05 mark. The Scots shot 9-of-13 from the field in the fourth quarter.

Brevard would get as close as five in the final minutes, but key free throws down the stretch sealed the win for Covenant. The Scots went 9-of-10 at the foul line in the final 1:36 of the contest.

Covenant's 35 points in the fourth quarter are the most for the program in any quarter since the NCAA adopted quarters starting in the 2015-16 season. 

For the game, the Scots shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53), the third time this season that Covenant has shot that percentage. Covenant also made 9-of-17 3-pointers and went 25-of-33 at the line, a season high in both makes and attempts. 

Brevard received 22 points from Annalee Bollinger and 15 points from Deja Riddick. Jade Napier added 11 for the host Tornados. Brevard shot 46.4 percent (32-of-69) for the game, but only 3-of-22 from beyond the 3-point line.

The Scots will travel to Demorest, Ga. to face off with the USA South West Division’s top team, Piedmont, and its four game winning streak. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.

Caleb Haynes scored 26 points to lead five Covenant men's basketball players in double figure scoring as the Scots used 59 percent shooting to down Methodist, 92-88, on Friday night in USA South action.

The win is the third straight for Covenant (11-8, 6-5 USA South). It was also the second consecutive game that the Scots took down a USA South division leader. Methodist (15-5, 10-2 USA South) fell at home for just the second time this season, and the first against a conference-counting opponent.

Haynes and the Scots were nearly unstoppable in the first half. Covenant blistered the net shooting 67.6 percent (23-of-34) from the field with eight 3-pointers. Haynes and Bailey Spragg each had 14 points in the period and Berto Dryden had 10. 

Covenant led 6-0 in the first minute of the game, aided by a pair of Haynes baskets, and extended that lead to 18-6 after a Will Crumly free throw with 15:03 left in the half. The shots continued to fall throughout the rest of the first 20 minutes. Covenant used a 7-0 run, with all points coming from Spragg, to build a 36-21 lead with 6:12 left. A Crumly 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds capped the half and gave the Scots a 55-40 lead at the break.

The Scots cooled considerably in the second half, but never lost the lead despite a couple of Methodist rallies. The host Monarchs got within four, 74-70, after a 10-2 run with 5:12 left, but baskets from Spragg and Haynes got the lead back to eight for Covenant with under four minutes remaining.

Covenant led 89-80 with 34 seconds left after two Crumly free throws, but Methodist had one last response in them. Davion Ayabarreno hit two 3-pointers in the span of eight seconds of gameplay to bring Methodist within four, 92-88, but the Monarchs would run out of time as the Scots never trailed in the contest.

Haynes was 12-of-15 from the field and added eight rebounds with his 26 points. Spragg ended the night with 18 points, six assists, five rebounds and a pair of steals. Dryden finished with 16 points and three assists, while James Mitchell hit four 3-pointers and had 12 points. Off the bench, Covenant got 10 points from Crumly and seven from Nick Palmer.

Covenant shot 59.3 percent (35-of-59) from the field with 10 3-pointers. The Scots dished out 19 assists and had 25 points off 20 Methodist turnovers.

Methodist was led by Bryan Rouse's 23 points. Troynell Reese had 17 and Ayabarreno finished with 15 points. Jackson Whitley tallied 13 points and seven rebounds and Rae Hall had 12 points. The Monarchs shot 53.2 percent (33-of-62) and held a 32-30 rebounding edge.

Covenant is back in action on Saturday at William Peace. Game time in Raleigh, N.C., is set for 4 p.m

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