LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- After a six-day layoff from competition, the Covenant men's basketball returned to the hardwood on Tuesday night against non-conference foe Berry. TJ Cox registered a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 assists and Colton McGriff scored 22 points to lead the Scots past the Vikings 81-65.
Covenant moves to 7-14 overall, while Berry drops to the same record.
Covenant dominated the first half of play in building a 20-point halftime lead. The Scots shot 51. 9 percent (14-of-27) from the field and 11-of-14 from the free throw line in the period. Chris Boyd capped the half with a buzzer-beating layup off a nice pass from Cox that gave the Scots a 39-19 edge. Covenant ended the period on a 26-9 scoring run.
The second half got sloppy on both ends as the teams combined for 36 fouls in the period. Berry chipped away at the Scots' lead, getting as close as seven at 50-43 after a Lee McCloud free throw with 8:04 remaining. Up 61-54, Covenant got its lead back to double digits after a Connor Sears layup, again assisted by Cox, with 3:45 left.
McGriff scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half and shot 9-of-11 for the game while collecting five rebounds. Will Portlock added 12 points, three assists and three steals and Chris Boyd chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.
Covenant shot 53.2 percent (25-of-47) for the game and made 31-of-46 from the free throw line. Of the 25 made field goals, Covenant had 19 assists.
Berry was led by Tyler Harville's 24 points. Harville made six 3-pointers and had four steals. Lukas Korn had 11 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out. Leading scorer Owen Jacobs was limited to nine points, but the center did grab 10 rebounds. Berry suffered from a cold shooting night as they connected on 32.7 percent (18-of-55) and turned the ball over 27 times.
The Scots will get right back to it on Wednesday with a critical USA South matchup with Piedmont. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. inside Barnes PE Center.