Women's Hoops Dominates Piedmont on the Road, 71-58

Kaley Hallmark (Nina Grauley/Sports Information)
Kaley Hallmark (Nina Grauley/Sports Information)

DEMOREST, Ga. -- The Covenant women's basketball team continued its hot streak and broke a long losing streak in the process with a dominating 71-58 victory over Piedmont on the road on Saturday afternoon.

Covenant (11-11, 6-6 USA South) has won five straight games, the program's longest winning streak in the NCAA era and overall since the 2008-09 season. The win also snapped a 14-game losing skid to Piedmont (19-4, 10-3 USA South) and the first win in Demorest since 2000. Covenant had not beaten the Lions since 2009.

It was also the worst home USA South loss for Piedmont in over three years.

Kaley Hallmark recorded her first career double-double with a career-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Hallmark went 6-of-9 from the field with five 3-pointers and dished out three assists. Bekah Walter had 18 points and Jessica Bell added 16 points, four rebounds and a team-best five assists. Joanna Smith tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The Scots carried their prolific shooting from Friday night's win at Brevard into Saturday. Covenant hit 10-of-15 with four 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 26-14 lead after the first 10 minutes. A Hallmark 3-pointer broke an early 2-2 tie and Covenant jumped out to a 24-8 lead after a Bell layup with 2:41 left in the first. 

The lead remained in double figures for much of the second quarter. After Piedmont sliced the lead to nine with under two minutes left before the half, Covenant stretched the margin back to double-digits as Walter and Hallmark produced consecutive baskets. Smith ended the period with a jumper to give the Scots a 41-28 lead.

Covenant never let Piedmont, the defending USA South Tournament champions, back into the contest over the final two quarters. The Scots' lead dipped below 10 just once in the second half, but a bucket from Walter and a 3-pointer from Hallmark extended the lead back to 46-33 with 7:58 left in the third. 

The Scots led 59-45 heading into the fourth and again extended that advantage. Covenant took its largest lead of the day, 66-45, after a Walter layup with 6:46 remaining in the game.

Covenant connected on 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the field with eight 3-pointers and a 15-of-20 effort at the foul line. The Scots forced Piedmont into 18 turnovers and produced 28 points off those giveaways.

Piedmont's Amari Price tallied 14 points and seven assists while Dakota Sullens had 15 points. The host Lions managed just 36.4 percent (20-of-55) shooting with a 6-of-23 performance from beyond the 3-point line. 

UP NEXT

Covenant will look to extend its win streak to six when it travels to Macon, Ga., to face Wesleyan on Friday, Feb. 9. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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