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Scots Hold Off Emory & Henry in Final Minute for 73-68 Win

TJ Cox (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
TJ Cox (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

EMORY, Va. -- Ben Phelps scored a career-high 18 points and TJ Cox added 17 points and seven assists to lead the Covenant men's basketball team to a 73-68 victory over Emory & Henry on Saturday afternoon.

It was the season opener for both teams. Covenant has won two of its last three season openers.

Covenant had to withstand the host Wasps in the final minute of play to secure the victory. Trailing 65-64, Z Arima gave the Scots a 66-65 lead with a layup with 1:37 remaining.

After forcing an Emory & Henry turnover, Covenant's Will Portlock missed a jumper as the shot clock wound down but a scramble for the loose ball resulted in a jump ball and the possession arrow favored Covenant with 35 seconds left. Cox was fouled and made the first before missing the second, but tremendous hustle from Covenant resulted in the ball being knocked out off the Wasps with 24 seconds left. Cox was fouled again and made 1-of-2 to extend the lead to 68-65 with 19 ticks left.

Covenant made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to hold the lead and pick up the win. Berto Dryden and Will Portlock each made a pair, while Chris Boyd added one.

Boyd finished with 14 points and six rebounds and Dryden had nine points. In addition to his 17 points and seven assists, Cox tallied three steals and three rebounds. Phelps was on fire from 3-point land going 6-for-6 to set a career-high in points.

Covenant shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55) from the floor with 10 3-pointers. The Scots forced 17 turnovers and converted those into 20 points. 

After falling behind 10-4 in the early minutes, Covenant got back in the game thanks to the 3-point shot. The Scots buried seven triples in the first half, three of which came from Phelps, to erase the deficit and take a 34-30 lead into halftime.

Emory & Henry was led by Ryan Gravley's 20 points, while Brandon Self added 11 and six rebounds. Alic Wynn led all players with 11 rebounds to go along with six points. The Wasps shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field and outrebounded the Scots 39-26.

UP NEXT

Covenant will host Sewanee on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

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Scots Fall at Emory, 76-63
December 30, 2015 Scots Fall at Emory, 76-63