MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Z Arima scored 24 points and Will Portlock added a career-high 18 points, but the Covenant men's basketball team could not overcome a late run from host Maryville in an 83-76 loss on Wednesday night.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for Covenant (13-11, 6-7 USA South). Maryville (19-5, 9-4 USA South) remains in first place in the conference heading into the final weekend of regular season play.
Covenant trailed 42-41 at the half, but then led for much of the second half. A Portlock jumper capped a quick 6-0 run for the Scots and a 49-44 lead with 16:46 left in the contest. Later in the half, Arima drained a 3-pointer and two Nick Palmer free throws gave Covenant its largest lead of the period at 67-61 with eight minutes left.
But Maryille clamped down defensively and held the Scots scoreless over the next five-and-a-half minutes of play. During that stretch, Maryville went on a 12-0 run to take a 73-67 edge after an Emanuelle Garcia fastbreak layup with 2:41 left. Covenant stopped its cold stretch with a 3-pointer from Bailey Spragg to cut the deficit to 73-70 with 2:25 remaining.
Covenant got within three at 75-72 after a pair of Caleb Haynes free throws with 1:17 left, but Maryville got baskets on its next two possessions to take a seven-point lead. Free throws in the final minute sealed the win for Maryville.
Arima finished with 24 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals. Portlock set his career-high in points by going 7-of-13 from the field with four assists and three rebounds. Spragg added nine points and five rebounds, while Haynes and Patjo Twagirayezu had eight points apiece. Haynes also collected eight rebounds.
Covenant shot 53.1 percent in the first half, but trailed by one at the break. Covenant led by as many as six in the opening stanza, but the teams went back-and-forth for much of the half. Arima scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half.
Garcia had 23 points to lead Maryville with Calvin Songster added 15 and Colt Nokes 11. Maryville shot 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the field with 11 3-pointers and a 14-for-19 effort at the foul line.
Covenant finished shooting 46 percent (29-of-63) from the floor with six 3-pointers. The Scots were 12-of-14 from the free throw line.
Covenant will host Piedmont on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the regular season finale. Senior Day activities will take place at approximately 1:35 p.m.
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