DEMOREST, Ga. -- The Covenant men's basketball team used a 28-9 scoring run over the final eight minutes of play to erase an eight-point deficit and earn a 79-68 victory at Piedmont on Wednesday night in USA South action.
The win moves the Scots to 13-8 overall on the year and 8-3 in the USA South. It also clinches a winning season and the eight wins in the USA South are the most since joing the league in 2013-14. Covenant has also won the last four meetings with Piedmont.
Berto Dryden tied a career-high with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting with three 3-pointers to lead the Scots. TJ Cox added 13 points, six rebounds and four assists while Bailey Spragg chipped in 12 points. Patjo Twagirayezu came off the bench to score 10 points. Chris Boyd collected nine rebounds to go with five points.
The Scots trailed 59-51 with 7:40 remaining in the second half after Piedmont's Justin Vallejo made a jumper. From that point on, Covenant dominated the game outscoring the Lions by 19 the rest of the way.
The scoring burst started with a 10-0 run that gave the Scots a 61-59 lead with 5:20 to go after Daniel Garrett drained a 3-pointer. With the score tied at 62 moments later, Covenant rattled off eight straight as Twagirayezu and Spragg made 3-pointers and a Dryden jumper capped the run giving the Scots a 70-62 lead with 2:24 remaining. Covenant would then make critical free throws down the stretch to hold off Piedmont. The Scots went 12-of-16 from the free throw line in the second half.
Covenant shot 50 percent (16-of-32) in the second half and outscored the Lions 50-34. For the game, Covenant connected on 46 percent (29-of-63) from the floor and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from 3-point land. The Scots held a 41-36 rebounding edge.
Piedmont held a lead for much of the first half. The Lions took their largest lead of the game at 34-23 with 1:50 left after a Trae Gaines basket. Covenant closed its gap to 34-29 at the half after a Will Portlock layup with under a minute left.
Peyton Luken and Vallejo led Piedmont (12-9, 4-6 USA South) with 13 points apiece. Gaines added 12 points and Chris Meeks 11.
The road trip continues on Friday with a trip to LaGrange. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here