MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Bailey Spragg led five Covenant men's basketball players in double figures with a career-high 18 points as the Scots picked up their biggest victory of the season so far with a 91-87 win at Maryville on Thursday night in USA South action.
The victory is the fifth straight for Covenant (10-6, 5-1 USA South) and keeps the Scots at the top of the USA South standings. The win was also the first over Maryville since 1995 and snaps an 0-for-17 skid against the northern Scots.
Maryville, losers of two straight, falls to 12-5 overall and 3-3 inside the USA South.
As has been the case all season long, Covenant fell behind in the first half before making a charge in the final stanza. The Scots trailed 45-39 at halftime, but went on to outscore Maryville 52-42 in the second half to take the victory.
Covenant was on the attack in the second half and made several key runs throughout to hold off Maryville. The Scots trailed 48-41 with 18:38 left after Maryville's Donte Hoppa connected on a 3-pointer, but Covenant rattled off eight straight, capped by a Spragg 3-pointer, to go ahead 49-48 with 17:37 remaining. Covenant's biggest run was an 11-0 stretch that gave the Scots their largest lead of the game at 64-55 after a Will Portlock layup with 12:31 left.
Maryville rallied to take a brief 73-72 lead with 6:40 remaining, but Covenant again had the answer. Daniel Garrett drained a 3-pointer on Covenant's next possession to give the Scots a lead they would not relinquish. Garrett was clutch down the stretch as he scored all eight of his points in the final minutes as Covenant held off a Maryville rally to take the win.
Spragg, the reigning USA South Rookie of the Week, scored 18 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Chris Boyd had 13 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Portlock added 12 points and four assists in a reserve role. Berto Dryden tallied 11 points and Patjo Twagirayezu registered 10 points and six rebounds.
Covenant shot 46.8 percent (36-of-77) from the field and held a 44-38 rebounding edge. Maryville made 46.3 percent (25-of-54) for the game and lost despite going 35-of-45 from the foul line.
Jay Bowyer had a game-high 22 points with seven assists for Maryville. Spencer Shoffner added 19 points and seven rebounds, while Logan Brewer and Joshua Brooks had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Covenant's contest at Averett scheduled for Saturday has been postponed and a makeup date is TBA. The Scots are next scheduled to play against Greensboro on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. inside Barnes PE Center.
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