The Covenant women’s basketball team could not extend a two-game winning streak on the hardwood on Saturday afternoon as Berry escaped with a 66-65 victory in a thrilling contest inside Barnes PE Center.
Covenant (3-4) trailed by as many as 19 points late in the third quarter, but mounted a comeback. After being down 57-46 at the end of the third, the Scots outscored Berry 21-11 in the fourth quarter.
Clara Dirkse Wolfe made a 3-pointer that cut the Covenant deficit to 63-62 lead with 2:39 to go before Bekah Walter gave the Scots a 64-63 lead with her short jumper with 1:30 remaining.
Emma Grimes went 1-of-2 at the free throw line with 21 seconds to go to build the lead to 65-63, but the Scots could not maintain it as Berry’s Eveline Parsons made her sixth 3-pointer of the day with 11 seconds to go to giving the visiting Vikings a 66-65 edge.
Covenant had one last chance, but turned the ball over on its final possession and Berry ran out the clock to seal the win. The teams combined for 51 turnovers in a sometimes sloppy contest.
The Scots' comeback was sparked by a late third quarter push that began with 4:15 left to go. Joanna Smith scored five points in that four-minute stretch to help lead Covenant’s 9-2 run to close the quarter and put the Scots within 55-44. Smith had 11 points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist overall.
The Scots were unable to overcome both rebounding and free throw shooting issues that plagued them in the first half. Covenant was out-rebounded 22-13, and 36-27 overall, while Berry had nine offensive rebounds and six second-chance points in the first half alone. Though they had chances at the stripe in the first half, Covenant could only manage to make 9-of-16 while the Vikings made 10-of-12.
Berry (3-4) led 37-29 at halftime, but quickly stretched that advantage to double figures early in the third period. The Vikings went on a 16-5 run in the first five-and-a-half minutes of the third to bring the lead to 53-34. Parsons played a crucial role in that stretch as she finished with a game-high 22 points paired with three rebounds and four assists.
Alex Weems added 16 points and five rebounds for the Vikings. Berry shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the field.
Grimes led Covenant (3-4) in scoring with 15 points, seven of which came in the furious fourth quarter comeback. Jessica Bell posted eight points, five rebounds, and three assists. Walter had eight points and a game-high six assists, while Taylor Robinson also scored eight points. Covenant finished shooting 44.9 percent (22-of-49) from the floor with 10 3-pointers.
Covenant will have a break before playing at home against Belhaven on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.