The Covenant men's basketball team used a 30-point effort from Patjo Twagirayezu and scored 57 second half points in a 93-64 rout of USA South foe Berea on Saturday afternoon at Barnes PE Center.
Twagirayezu recorded his second 30-point performance of the year as he was 8-of-13 from the field, with five 3-pointers, and 9-of-12 at the free throw line. Will Crumly scored a career-high 20 points and added eight rebounds off the bench.
The win was the third straight overall and the second straight USA South win for Covenant (3-1, 2-0 USA South).
It is the first 2-0 start to conference play in the USA South era for the program and the first overall since the 2005-06 season.
Covenant led 36-33 at halftime, but was stifled at times offensively by a Berea zone defense. The Scots shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from the field, but connected on just 5-of-16 from deep in the opening 20 minutes.
All of that changed quickly in the second half. James Mitchell made three consecutive 3-pointers in the first minute-and-a-half of the period as Covenant built a 45-33 lead and the onslaught was on. Covenant hit 11 3-pointers in the second half alone and made 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the floor in the period.
The lead extended to as many as 35 points in the half as a Twagirayezu steal and ensuing layup gave the Scots a 91-56 edge. The 57 second-half points are the most scored in a half in the NCAA era of the program and the most since the Scots scored 63 in a victory over Virginia Intermont on Feb. 9, 2008.
Mitchell finished with 15 points, all coming on 3-pointers where he was 5-of-8 on the day. Berto Dryden dished out six assists and had 10 points and three rebounds.
Bench play was key for Covenant in the win as Crumly's 20 points helped Covenant to a 31-14 edge in bench points. Bailey Spragg added seven points, six assists and three rebounds in his reserve role. Caleb Haynes made his only field goal attempt and also collected eight rebounds and had two blocks and two steals.
Berea (3-1, 0-1 USA South) was led by Torell Carter and his 17 points. Travid Hadyn Roe added 14 points and five rebounds, while Dakota Mays had 10 points. The visiting Mountaineers shot 35.4 percent (23-of-65) from the field.
For the game, the Scots hit 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the field with 16 3-pointers and 15-of-20 at the foul line. Covenant was able to turn 18 Berea turnovers into 25 points. The Scots had a 39-34 rebounding edge and assisted on 21 of 31 made field goals.
Covenant will hit the road next week for a pair of games starting with a trip to Sewanee on Tuesday. Game time is set for 8 p.m. EST.
Five players scored in double figures as the Covenant women's basketball team won its second straight with a 77-66 victory over Brevard on Saturday afternoon.
Covenant goes to 3-3 on the year, while Brevard drops to 2-4. Brevard is a reclassifying member of NCAA Division III and the USA South and the contest does not count towards league standings.
Jessica Bell and Emma Grimes had 16 points apiece, with Grimes scoring all of her points in the fourth quarter, while Joanna Smith registered a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Bekah Walter and Raquel Rosa had 12 points each, a season-high for Rosa.
Covenant led for the vast majority of the contest. The Scots got out to an 18-11 lead at the end of the first period after shooting 61.5 percent (8-of-13) in the quarter. The lead expanded to double digits in the second after a Bell layup made it 24-13 at the 5:47 mark. Brevard cut into the lead, but the Scots used 50 percent shooting in the half to maintain a 32-26 lead heading into halftime.
Brevard made its push in the third. The visiting Tornados had their best shooting quarter in the third and got within one at 51-50 going to the fourth. The rally continued into the first possession of the fourth as Ty'She Washington gave the Tornados a 52-51 lead with her layup with 9:47 left.
However, Covenant would outscore Brevard 26-14 the rest of the way, aided by Grimes' 16 points in the period. After being held scoreless through the first three quarters, Grimes hit three 3-pointers and added seven free throws to help Covenant pull away for the victory. It was a Grimes 3-pointer with 9:31 left that gave Covenant a 54-52 lead, one in which they would not relinquish.
The Scots were then able to seal the win at the free throw line. Covenant made just two of its first 13 free throws in the game, but finished making 15 straight including a perfect 11-of-11 in the final quarter.
Brevard was led by Annalee Bollinger's 19 points and six assists. Washington had 16 points and seven rebounds while Kelsie Rhyne added 13 points. The Tornados shot just 37.7 percent (23-of-61) from the field and were 12-of-13 at the foul line.
Covenant did work on the glass as the Scots held a 43-23 rebounding edge and tallied 12 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds. The Scots also shot a season-high 49.1 percent (27-of-55) with six 3-pointers.
Covenant will have a week off before hosting Berry in a non-conference matchup on Saturday, Dec. 9. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. inside Barnes PE Center.