LYNCHBURG, Va. -- So close. The Covenant men's basketball team battled Division I Liberty to the very end, but two free throws from the Flames' Lovell Cabill with two seconds left broke a 62-62 tie and gave the hosts a 64-62 victory.
The game counted as an exhibition for Covenant, but was Liberty's season opener. It was the first time the teams had met since the 1999-00 season.
Berto Dryden scored all 14 of his points in the second half as he led the way for the Scots offensively. Chris Boyd added 12 points, while Z Arima scored eight. Will Portlock added six points and six rebounds and Matt den Dulk chipped in six points and five boards off the bench.
The game came down to the wire. Trailing 62-60 with under 30 seconds to play, Dryden collected an offensive rebound after a Patjo Twagirayezu miss and converted a tough layup to draw the Scots even. On Liberty's next possession, Cabill drew a foul and calmly sank both free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining.
Covenant had one last chance to tie or take the win, but a halfcourt heave from Twagirayezu fell short.
Covenant led 27-26 at halftime after holding Liberty to 29.4 percent shooting in the period. Boyd scored six points in the half and Arima had five.
Liberty (1-0) got 15 points and 10 rebounds from Evan Maxwell and 13 points from Ryan Kemrite.
Covenant officially opens the season on Saturday at Emory & Henry. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
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