LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- A good first half was followed a poor second half as the Covenant men's basketball team fell to Methodist 63-57 in USA South action on Friday night inside Barnes Physical Education Center.
The loss is Covenant's second straight and drops the Scots to 6-7 overall and 1-2 in league play. Methodist, which has won all three all-time meetings between the schools, improves to 4-9 and 2-1 in conference games.
The Scots held a 34-26 lead at halftime after shooting 46.7 percent from the floor. Robby Bell connected on 3-pointers on the final two offensive possessions of the half to push the Covenant lead to eight at intermission.
But the second half was dominated by Methodist. The Monarchs went on a 24-5 scoring run, spanning nearly all of the first 10 minutes of the period, to open the half. Austin Saunders made a short jumper at the 10:37 mark of the half to cap the run and give the Monarchs a 50-39 lead.
Methodist would extend its lead to as many as 12 later in the half. Covenant clawed to within six at 58-52 with 1:08 left after a Ben Phelps jumper, and then again at 63-57, but would get no closer the rest of the way.
Phelps and Nate Frierson led the Covenant scoring with 10 points apiece. Frierson also dished out four assists. Bell and Daniel Garret, starting for the first time, each scored nine. Leading scorer Colton McGriff was limited to just six points on 3-of-9 shooting, though he did have three steals. Chris Boyd was held scoreless, but made his presence known with seven rebounds and four blocks.
For the game, Covenant shot 40 percent (24-of-60), but only 33.3 percent in the second half.
Hockaday posted his eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 10 of Hockaday's points came in the second half. Brandon Monk came off the bench to score 11 points, while Keith Corbett had a game-high 12 rebounds. Methodist was shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from the field, but held a 48-32 rebounding edge and tallied 13 second-chance points.
Covenant will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Greensboro. Game time is at 4 p.m., or 25 minutes after the conclusion of the women's game.