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Maryville Uses Big Second Half for Win over Men's Hoops

Will Portlock (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
Will Portlock (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- The Covenant men's basketball team had a 43-40 lead at the break, but the host Maryville Scots used a strong second half to come away with a 77-65 win inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium on Saturday.

Covenant (4-13, 3-5 USA South) has lost two straight overall and the last 17 meetings against Maryville. Maryville (8-8, 3-2 USA South) snaps a two-game skid with the victory.

Will Portlock had a career-high 14 points, on 6-of-8 shooting, to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Portlock was joined in double figures scoring by TJ Cox who tallied 12 points with five assists. Colton McGriff came off the bench to score nine points, while Z Arima registered four assists and four rebounds.

Covenant shot 57.6 percent (15-of-26) in the first half that was capped by a Cox layup as time expired in the period giving the visiting Scots a 43-40 lead. Covenant jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first half and led for nearly the entire period. Maryville's Spencer Shoffner hit a 3-pointer giving the hosts a 40-38 lead with under a minute remaining in the half but that was answered by Matt den Dulk's triple on Covenant's next possession.

Covenant cooled off from the field in the second half and Maryville rallied. Portlock converted a layup to tie the score at 56 with 9:02 left, but Shoffner buried another 3 on Maryville's next possession to give the hosts a 59-56 lead, one they would not relinquish.

Shoffner led all scorers with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Reigning USA South Player of the Year Jaumonee Byrd totaled 15 points and eight rebounds. Oscar Butler produced a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Calvin Songster added 14 points.

Covenant shot 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the floor, including a 10-for-20 effort from 3-point land. Maryville shot 43.3 percent (26-of-60), but converted 16-of-22 free throw attempts and had a 41-28 rebound advantage.

Covenant will hit the road once again next week with a trip to Demorest, Georgia to face Piedmont. Tip-off is set for 5:30 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.