FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- The Covenant men's basketball team suffered a second straight loss as the Scots fell to hot-shooting Methodist 83-69 on Friday night inside the Riddle Center.
Covenant (7-7, 1-3 USA South) has lost two straight and will travel up the road on Saturday to face Greensboro, who is a perfect 2-0 in conference play.
Z Arima scored 21 points to lead four Covenant players in double figures. Arima added three assists, three steals and four rebounds, while going 7-of-12 from the field with four 3-pointers. Will Portlock had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists off the bench for the Scots. Bailey Spragg scored 11 points, all coming in the second half, with five assists and Berto Dryden tallied 10 points.
Methodist (8-6, 2-1 USA South) never trailed in the contest. The host Monarchs got out to a 7-0 lead in the first two-and-a-half minutes and would extend that lead to 12 later in the first half at 35-23 with 4:24 left.
Covenant made its biggest run of the game over the final four minutes of the first half and into the opening minutes of the second. The Scots outscored Methodist 15-4 during the run to trim the deficit to a single point at 39-38 after Spragg's first 3-pointer of the night with 17:18 left in the game.
But that would be as close as Covenant would get. Methodist kept the Scots at a 5-7 point deficit for much of the second half and then extended the lead to double digits in the final minutes.
Covenant made 12 3-pointers on the night and shot 44.4 percent from deep, but the Scots shot only 38.2 percent (26-of-68) from the field. Covenant dished out 17 assists on those 26 made field goals.
Rae Hall and Davion Ayabarreno had 17 points apiece to pace the Monarchs. Bryan Rouse had 16 points, while Jackson Whitley and Irving Aughburns had 11 points each. Methodist connected on 51.8 percent (29-of-56) for the game despite making just two 3-pointers. The Monarchs did make 23-of-26 from the foul line.
Covenant will travel to USA South foe Greensboro on Saturday. Tip-off in Hanes Gymnasium is set for 4 p.m.
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