LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Colton McGriff scored his 1,000th career point and led the Covenant men's basketball team with 14 points, but the Scots' upset bid of No. 9-ranked Emory fell just short with a 72-59 defeat on Wednesday night.
McGriff becomes the 25th member of Covenant's 1,000-point club and the first to join since Callum Sears achieved the career milestone in 2013. The senior from Birmingham, Alabama, finished the night with 1,013 career points.
Covenant (1-7), coming off a 77-64 loss on the road at Sewanee on Tuesday night, came out with energy that was fueled even further by the raucous crowd inside Barnes PE Center. The Scots trailed 24-20 with 5:20 left in the first half before a 7-0 run, capped by a Ryan Burns fastbreak layup after a steal by Nate Frierson, gave the Scots a 27-24 lead with 3:50 remaining in the period.
Covenant had a five-point lead twice late in the half before Emory rallied to tie the score at 33 with under a minute to go. An old-fashioned three-point play from TJ Cox gave the Scots a 36-33 edge heading into the intermission.
Emory would break a 45-45 tie with 15:01 left in the game with an 16-3 scoring run over the next four-plus minutes to gain a 61-48 lead with 8:22 remaining. The visiting Eagles stretched the margin out to 16 with 7:23 left, before Covenant whittled its deficit to 10 at 67-57 after a Frierson jumper with 3:09 left.
Emory (7-1) made 19-of-23 free throws in the second half and used those to thwart off any Covenant rally.
Alex Foster, Emory's leading scorer and rebounder, registered 24 points and eight rebounds and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Will Trawick added 11 points while Jonathan Terry had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Chris Boyd, playing for the first time in two games after suffering an ankle injury, started and scored 10 points to go with five rebounds and three blocks. Frierson added nine points, four assists and four rebounds, while Burns chipped in eight points.
Covenant made 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the field and 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Emory was limited to 40.9 percent (18-of-44) shooting, but buried eight 3s and made 28-of-33 free throws.
Covenant will be off until after Christmas. The Scots host Sewanee on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. at Barnes PE Center.