MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Covenant men's basketball team fell behind by 19 points in the second half and would cut that deficit to three late in the contest, before ultimately falling 80-74 at Huntingdon in USA South action on Saturday afternoon.
The loss is Covenant's second straight and drops the Scots to 8-12 overall and 3-6 in league play. Huntingdon picks up its fifth straight victory and improves to 6-11 overall and 5-3 inside the conference.
Huntingdon led by seven at halftime, 36-29, and quickly built that lead to double digits in the opening minutes of the second half. The Hawks capped a quick 7-0 scoring run to go ahead 55-36 with 15:13 left in the contest.
Covenant would not go away quietly, though. Colton McGriff scored 14 points in the second half to get the Scots back in the game. A McGriff 3-pointer with 9:41 left finished off a 16-4 scoring run that cut the Scots' deficit to 59-52. Covenant continued the push as they got within three at 64-61 after Z Arima made a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions.
Huntingdon had the final answer, however, as Jason Varney scored nine points in the final four minutes to clinch the win for the Hawks. Varney went 7-for-10 at the foul line to seal the victory.
McGriff led the Scots with 22 points and five rebounds. Chris Boyd and Robby Bell each had 12 points, while Boyd tied a career-high with five blocks to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Nate Frierson had a team-high four assists with six points.
Covenant had just six turnovers in the game, the lowest output since turning the ball over eight times against Piedmont on Dec. 9, 2010.
The Scots shot 39.7 percent (25-of-63) from the field, but were 17-of-22 from the foul line. Huntingdon was 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the floor and made 28-of-40 from the charity stripe. The Hawks held a 49-33 rebounding edge and a 21-8 margin in second-chance points.
Varney led the Hawks with 22 points off the bench. Austin Hill and Jerome Davis tallied 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Covenant will travel to face Maryville on Wednesday. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.