Men's Basketball Flies Past Rhodes, 120-110

Caleb Haynes (Nina Grauley/Sports Information)
Caleb Haynes (Nina Grauley/Sports Information)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Backed by four players scoring 20 or more points, the Covenant men's basketball team picked up a 120-110 victory over host Rhodes on Tuesday in the finale of the Rhodes Holiday Classic at Mallory Gym.

It is the third straight win for Covenant (6-3) and the second straight game in which the Scots scored over 100 points. It marks the first time since February 1993 that Covenant has had consecutive 100-point scoring outbursts. It was also the eighth-highest scoring game in program history.

James Mitchell scored a career-high 27 points going 9-for-17 from 3-point land, while Berto Dryden and Caleb Haynes each scored 26 points. Haynes added nine rebounds and Dryden had seven assists and five rebounds. Patjo Twagirayezu registered a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Bailey Spragg tallied a career-high 10 assists to go along with eight points and six rebounds.

Facing a Rhodes team that uses a version of the Grinnell system with up-tempo play and five new players substituting in at just about every whistle, Covenant was able to keep pace. The Scots did not score until almost four minutes into the contest before a Will Crumly 3-pointer with 16:01 put Covenant on the board. The Scots would trail by eight later in the half, but a 13-2 scoring run, capped by a Dryden 3-pointer, gave Covenant a 33-30 lead with 6:19 left in the period.

The run continued later in the half for Covenant, as Mitchell got hot from deep. The sophomore hit three 3-pointers over the final three minutes of the half as Covenant gained a 52-42 lead at the break. Mitchell hit five of his triples in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, the lead grew to 13 as Mitchell nailed a trey on Covenant's second possession to make it 55-42. The margin grew to 15 on two occasions over the next few minutes before Rhodes made a run. The Lynx chipped away at the Covenant lead and got within four at 102-98 with 4:38 left, but a Haynes basket followed by another Mitchell 3-pointer got the Scots' lead back to 107-98 with 4:07 left. 

Covenant scored 68 second-half points, aided by 21 from Haynes and 16 from Dryden to hold off Rhodes.

Rhodes (5-4) was led by Owen Galvin's 17 points, while Anesu Nyawata had 15 and Mitch Weatherford 14. The Lynx shot 50 percent (40-of-80) on the day with 10 3-pointers. 

Covenant ended shooting a season-best 59.4 percent (41-of-69) from the field with 12 3-pointers and a 41-40 rebounding edge. Covenant also had a season-high 29 assists and scored 23 points off 17 Rhodes turnovers.


Covenant will take off for Christmas before returning to the hardwood on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Maryville in a USA South showdown. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.


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