LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- After leading by two at halftime, the Covenant men's basketball team blew the game open with a strong second half performance in a 78-64 win over Oglethorpe in non-conference play on Tuesday night inside Barnes PE Center.
Covenant (4-2) shot 54.8 percent in the second half and was able to limit a high-scoring Oglethorpe (3-5) offense to just 40.8 percent shooting for the game.
Berto Dryden led the way with 17 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Z Arima matched his career-high with 14 points to go along with eight rebounds, while Bailey Spragg was the third Covenant player in double figures with 12 points. Patjo Twagirayezu just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair until Covenant took the lead for good on a Nick Palmer layup to give the Scots a 34-32 lead with 1:50 left in the period. Palmer scored a career-high eight points on the night and also picked up four rebounds and two steals. The Scots would go into the break with a 36-34 lead.
The Scots started the second half on a 16-5 scoring run to go ahead 52-39 after a Will Portlock layup with 14:45 left. The lead would stay in double figures the rest of the way and reach its peak at 18 after Spragg drained a 3-pointer with 4:55 remaining to put the contest out of reach for the visiting Stormy Petrels.
Covenant shot 46.9 percent (30-of-64) from the floor for the game with six 3-pointers. The Scots held a huge rebounding margin at 48-25 and had a 12-1 edge in second-chance points.
Defensively, Covenant held Oglethorpe well below its 88.4 points per game average coming into the contest. The Stormy Petrels shot just 40.8 percent (20-of-49) for the game and were 17-of-30 from the foul line.
Oglethorpe was led by Justin Edwards' 21 points off the bench. Chris Lawrence had 11 points and Drew Patrick registered eight points and six rebounds.
Covenant will venture to the Pacific Northwest over the weekend to take on a pair of top-10 opponents. The trip starts on Friday night against No. 7-ranked Whitworth at 10 p.m. EST (7 p.m. PST).
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