LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team returned to the hardwood for the first time in nine days, but the Scots were defeated by visiting North Park 85-73 on Monday afternoon at Barnes Physical Education Center.
Patjo Twagirayezu registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Connor Sears scored 13 points with five rebounds off the bench. Ben Phelps poured in 11 first half points and ended with 12 on the day.
Covenant (5-4) trailed for much of the contest, but gained a 51-47 lead after an 8-0 scoring run with 11:02 left in the contest. Will Portlock and Daniel Garrett capped the rally with consecutive baskets giving the Scots a four-point margin. North Park eventually regained the lead at 56-55 after a Jordan Robinson three-point play with 8:36 remaining and the Vikings would not trail again.
Robinson had an impressive showing with 23 points and 19 rebounds for North Park (6-3). The Vikings also received a game-high 26 points and five assists from Juwan Henry, while Colin Lake added 15 points. TJ Cobbs also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Covenant shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field for the game, with a 46.7 percent mark in the second half alone. North Park connected on 43.1 percent (28-of-65) for the game with seven 3-pointers while holding a 47-32 rebounding edge.
North Park got out to a 9-0 lead in the opening half as the Scots tried to shake off the rust from their long layoff for finals week. A Phelps 3-pointer got Covenant going with 14:02 left in the first half. After trailing 15-3 moments later, Covenant chipped away at its deficit to get within 19-17 after a Tankk Pettus layup with 5:55 left. North Park held on to the lead throughout the first half and took a 36-39 lead into the break.
Covenant will have another nine-day layoff for Christmas. The Scots are back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at Emory. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Woodruff PE Center in Atlanta.
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