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Methodist Pulls Away Late from Men's Hoops

Colton McGriff (photo credit: Andrew Mindeman/Sports Information)
Colton McGriff (photo credit: Andrew Mindeman/Sports Information)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Methodist's TJ Gill scored a game-high 17 points and had the go-ahead basket with 3:27 left in the game as the host Monarchs knocked off the Covenant men's basketball team 57-51 in USA South action on Friday night inside the Riddle Center in Fayetteville.

The loss is the Scots' second straight and drops them to 2-10 on the year and 1-2 in the USA South. Methodist improves to 5-7 overall and 2-1 in league play.

Colton McGriff led Covenant with 13 points and six rebounds in the losing effort. TJ Cox poured in nine points, on the strength of three 3-pointers, and dished out a game-best four assists. 

Both teams had difficulty connecting from the field. Covenant limited Methodist 40.4 percent shooting (21-of-52), but the Scots managed just 31.7 percent (19-of-60) from the field. Of its 19 made field goals Covenant made 10 from behind the 3-point line, a season-high.

Covenant took a 40-35 lead with 14:19 left in the second half after Cox capped an 11-0 scoring run with a 3-pointer. Cox had a pair of 3s during the stretch that also saw Connor Sears nail one from 3-point land.

Methodist responded and tied the score at 46 after a free throw with 5:28 remaining. Sears gave Covenant the lead once again with a driving layup with 5:11 to go, but the Monarchs finished the game on an 11-3 run to take the victory.

Gill added nine rebounds and three assists to his 17 points. Brandon Monk had 11 points, while Desmond Parker tallied 10. Mike Major just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Methodist held a 40-36 rebounding edge.

Sears contributed seven points and five rebounds for the Scots and Bryant Engbers chipped in seven points and four rebounds.

Covenant will be back in action on Saturday at USA South foe Greensboro. Tip-off in Greensboro is set for 4 p.m.

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information.