LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team went on a 20-5 scoring run midway through the second half, but visiting Oglethorpe had the final answer as the Stormy Petrels rallied for a 76-68 win on Tuesday evening inside Barnes PE Center.
The game was Covenant's home opener after the Scots played their first three contests away from Barnes PE Center. The Scots drop to 1-3 overall, while Oglethorpe improves to 5-1 on the year.
Colton McGriff scored a season-high 28 points and added six rebounds to lead Covenant offensively. Nate Frierson added 12 points, 10 of which came in the second half, with three assists. Getting his first career start, Connor Sears made the most of his opportunity with a career-high 11 points to go along with five rebounds.
McGriff and company got off to a hot start in the first half. McGriff scored five of Covenant's first seven points as the Scots took a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes. Oglethorpe responded by holding the Scots scoreless for over six minutes of game play and took a 17-9 lead in the process. Covenant cut its deficit to two at 30-28 after a Sears jumper, assisted by TJ Cox, with under a minute remaining in the period. Oglethorpe would go into the break with a 32-28 lead.
The visiting Stormy Petrels gained a 45-36 lead after a Chase Wardlaw layup with 13:00 left in the game. The Scots rallied in a big way with a 20-5 scoring run spanning five-and-a-half minutes. Frierson had eight points during the stretch, while Sears added five. Ryan Burns had a 3-pointer and Chris Boyd added a basket and two free throws giving the Scots a 56-50 advantage.
Oglethorpe once again answered as Jordan Kinney knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Stormy Petrels a 60-58 lead with 4:26 remaining. Two 3-pointers by Chris Lawrence kept the Scots at distance and Oglethorpe made enough free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Connor Smith, Oglethorpe's leading scorer, had 24 points while Alex Davis and Kinney had 13 and 10, respectively. Wardlaw led the Stormy Petrels with seven rebounds and Romello Bates dished out a game-high five assists. Oglethorpe made 53.3 percent (24-of-45) from the floor and 20-of-25 from the foul line.
Cox had four assists and three steals for Covenant. Boyd collected six rebounds to go with seven points in the loss. Covenant shot 45.3 percent (29-of-64) as a team and had a season-high 17 assists.
Covenant will be off for Thanksgiving Break and will return to action on Friday, December 5 on the road at Millsaps. Tip-off in Jackson, Mississippi, is set for 8 p.m. EST.