LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team dropped its second straight game in as many nights as the Scots fell to regional power Emory, 80-73, on Wednesday night at Woodruff PE Center in Atlanta.
James Mitchell led Covenant (3-3) with a season-high tying 18 points, all coming via the 3-pointer as he made six on the night. Berto Dryden and Nick Palmer had 15 points apiece for the Scots. The 15 points for Palmer was a career-high.
Much like Tuesday night's game at Sewanee, Covenant fell behind by double digits before making a rally late in the second half. The Scots trailed by 16 at 60-44 with 9:22 remaining, but would rattle off a 23-11 scoring run over the next six minutes to get within 71-67 with 3:10 left. Mitchell had three 3-pointers to get the run started, while Dryden had eight points during the stretch including back-to-back 3-pointers that got the Scots to within four at 71-67.
Down six in the final 30 seconds, Dryden converted a steal and a layup to keep Covenant within range at 77-73 but free throws down the stretch sealed the win for the host Eagles.
Covenant shot an even 40 percent (26-of-65) from the field with 11 3-pointers. The Scots took 20 Emory turnovers and converted those into 14 points.
The Scots fell behind 13-3 in the early going before settling down and rallying back. Mitchell was hot from 3-point range in the first half as he scored nine of Covenant's first 11 points. The Scots took their first lead of the night at 25-24 after a Palmer 3-pointer with 8:09 left in the first half. The teams would trade baskets for the rest of the half as Emory held a 39-34 lead into the break.
Emory (5-2) shot 57.7 percent in the first half and out-rebounded Covenant 23-10. Those numbers flattened in the second half, but the Eagles were still able to extend their lead to double figures in the first 10 minutes of the second stanza before Covenant made its comeback attempt.
Five players scored in double figures for Emory led by Adam Gigax's 17 points. Christopher Avant had 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, while Romin Williams had 15 points. Gebereal Baitey added 12 points and Matt Davet 10 for the Eagles. Emory ended up shooting 47.6 percent (30-of-63) from the floor and 12-of-16 from the free throw line. The Eagles held a 47-33 rebounding edge.
Covenant will be off for the next 10 days for final exams before traveling to face USA South newcomer Brevard on Saturday, Dec. 16. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
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