LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team rallied from an 11-point deficit late in the second half and then hung on in overtime to defeat William Peace 84-82 in a key USA South matchup on Saturday afternoon inside Barnes PE Center.
Covenant (9-10, 3-6 USA South) trailed 69-58 with 5:07 remaining in regulation. Jared Jauch hit a 3-pointer on the next Scots possession and Berto Dryden hit 3-pointers on consecutive trips to draw Covenant to within 70-67 with 3:15 left. Down five with just over a minute to go, Bailey Spragg drained a 3-pointer to make it 73-71 with 1:05 remaining.
Covenant held William Peace on the ensuing possession and the Scots tied the score at 73 with 31 ticks left on a pair of Caleb Haynes free throws. William Peace ran the clock down, but Chris Thomas missed a deep jumper as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime. Over the last five minutes of regulation, Covenant outscored the visiting Pacers 15-4.
Haynes gave the Scots a two-point lead in the overtime on a layup, assisted by Dryden, with 4:25 left. Haynes and Patjo Twagirayezu had back-to-back baskets with over a minute left to bring the Covenant lead to 80-75. The Pacers cut the lead to 81-79 on a steal and layup from Jay Hicks and, after two made free throws from Dryden, Ryan Emfinger made a 3-pointer to slice the Scots' margin to 83-82 with four seconds left. Haynes was fouled on the next possession and made 1-of-2 at the line with two seconds to go, but the Pacers would not be able to get a shot off before the horn sounded.
Twagirayezu led all scorers with a career-high 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting. Haynes collected his first career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Dryden had 12 points and five assists, while Spragg added 10 points and two assists. Will Portlock chipped in six points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Covenant shot 52.4 percent (33-of-63) from the floor with 10 3-pointers and 14 assists.
William Peace (10-8, 3-4 USA South) had five players score in double figures led by Chris Thomas' 20 points and eight rebounds. Emfinger had 13 points, Jalen Vince 12 points and five assists, Hicks, 11 and John Burwell 10. Willie Herring had a team-high nine rebounds. The Pacers were 30-of-67 (44.8 percent) from the field and held a 36-34 rebounding edge.
Covenant will step out of conference on Tuesday to face Sewanee. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. at Barnes PE Center.
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