Scots Lead Wire-to-Wire in 100-85 Victory over Austin

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

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Covenant men's basketball team had six players score in double figures and never trailed in a 100-85 victory over Austin on Monday in the Rhodes Holiday Classic at Mallory Gym in Memphis.

Patjo Twagirayezu led the half-dozen Scots in double-digit scoring with his 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Berto Dryden scored 18 points, while dishing out a game-high six assists, and Bailey Spragg produced his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-best 10 rebounds. James Mitchell and Will Crumly each had 12 points, with Crumly collecting eight boards, and Caleb Haynes added 10 points and six rebounds.

It was a coast-to-coast victory for Covenant (5-3) as the Scots never trailed and were never tied in the contest. Covenant scored the first five points, as Haynes made a layup and Dryden added a 3-pointer, in the first minute-plus of the game. The lead expanded all the way to 16 points later in the half at 32-16 after Twagirayezu made a layup at the 9:40 mark. The lead remained in double figures for much of the rest of the half as Covenant entered the break ahead 51-39.

Covenant shot 53.8 percent (21-of-39) in the opening half and Twagirayezu scored half of his 20 points in the period.

It was much more of the same in the second half. The Scots actually shot slightly better in the final stanza (56.7 percent) and were able to extend the lead quickly. Covenant took its largest lead of the day at 66-43 after a Crumly layup with 15:48 left. 

Austin would get within 10 points with 6:47 left, but the Scots were too much for the Roos. A 7-2 scoring run over 1:47 stretch, capped by a Dryden 3-pointer, gave Covenant an 89-75 lead and the Scots cruised from there.

The Scots made just eight 3-pointers and shot 42.1 percent from deep, but scored 60 points in the paint. Covenant also held a 40-22 edge in bench points, aided largely by Twagirayezu's 20 and Crumly's 12 points. It was the first time Covenant hit the century mark in a game since scoring the same number against Dallas on Nov. 18, 2016. 

Nick Palmer and Jared Jauch contributed seven points apiece for the Scots. 

Covenant shot 55.1 percent (38-of-69) from the field and had 17 assists. Austin was held to 42.9 percent (27-of-63) shooting and the Roos were 23-of-27 at the foul line. Covenant out-rebounded Austin 42-30 and scored 11 second-chance points.

Justin Mercadel led Austin (2-8) and all scorers with 23 points and added six rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Kam Hogan and Austin Wells each had 13 points, while Josh Quinn and Josh Hardwick had 10 apiece.


Covenant will be back at it on Tuesday against host Rhodes. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. EST.


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