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Scots Knock off Averett in Key USA South Showdown

Chris Boyd (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
Chris Boyd (photo credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

DANVILLE, Va. -- The Covenant men's basketball team remained perfect on the road in USA South play as the Scots defeated Averett 77-68 on Tuesday night at the Grant Center in a key conference battle.

The contest was a makeup from the Jan. 23 game that was snowed out.

Covenant (12-7, 7-2 USA South) is now 4-0 in road conference games and Tuesday night's win kept the Scots atop the league standings. Covenant's 7-2 record is a half-game better than Greensboro and North Carolina Wesleyan who both stand at 6-2. Averett (14-6, 5-4 USA South) has dropped two straight.

A balanced scoring attack was led by Berto Dryden and Ben Phelps as each poured in 12 points. Dryden added seven rebounds, while Phelps was 5-of-9 from the field with two 3-pointers. TJ Cox tallied 10 points with four assists, while Chris Boyd came off the bench to score eight points and grab a career-high 13 rebounds. Bailey Spragg added nine points and a game-high five assists.

Covenant shot the ball well at 48.2 percent (27-of-56) with 11 3-pointers and was 12-of-15 from the free throw line. The Scots won despite turning the ball over 24 times, but did outrebound the Cougars 42-32 and had 14 second-chance points.

Covenant forged ahead in the first half on the strength of a 9-2 scoring run that broke a 21 all tie and gave the Scots a 30-23 lead after a Boyd jumper with 3:55 left. Patjo Twagirayezu connected on a jumper giving the Scots a 35-27 lead with 1:39 remaining, but Averett closed the gap to four at the half at 35-31.

The Scots remained in front the entire second half. Z Arima's layup at the 9:18 mark of the period gave Covenant a double-digit lead at 59-49. Covenant gained its biggest lead of the game at 70-56 after Spragg buried a 3-pointer with 3:44 left. The Cougars got as close as five with under a minute left, but Boyd made four consecutive free throws in the final 36 seconds to secure the road win.

Arima finished with seven points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists while Twagirayezu chipped in six points.

James Contreras and Carter Jones had 11 points apiece for Averett, while Charles Bryant recorded eight points and 11 rebounds. JaColby Hawkins was also in double figure scoring with 10 points. Averett managed just 39.3 percent (24-of-61) shooting.

UP NEXT

Covenant will be back in Barnes PE Center on Saturday against USA South foe Ferrum. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

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