Men's Basketball Throttles Berea With Huge Second Half

Patjo Twagirayezu (Nina Grauley/ Sports Information)
Patjo Twagirayezu (Nina Grauley/ Sports Information)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- 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. Travis 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.

UP NEXT

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.

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