LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Bailey Spragg scored a career-high 28 points and the Covenant men's basketball team used a hot-shooting first half to defeat Huntingdon, 86-77, in USA South action at Barnes PE Center on Saturday afternoon.
Spragg scored his career-best 28 points with an impressive all-around game. The junior guard was 10-of-11 from the field with five 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds, six assists, and six steals in the victory. Spragg scored 19 of his points in the first half as Covenant shot 58.3 percent in the period and took a 51-34 lead into the break.
Three other Scots joined Spragg in double figure scoring as Will Crumly narrowly missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Caleb Haynes had 11 points and Patjo Twagirayezu added 10 points. Berto Dryden just missed on double-digit scoring with his eight points, but had a team-best seven assists.
Covenant (7-4, 3-1 USA South) built a 17-point edge in the first half on the strength of seven 3-pointers and over 58 percent shooting from the field, while limiting Huntingdon to 39 percent from the floor. A 7-0 run erased a four-point Huntingdon lead early on and gave the Scots an 11-8 lead after a Haynes layup with 15:51 left in the first. The Scots would never trail again.
The lead grew larger as the half continued. Covenant rattled off a 14-4 run over the final 5:21 of the period to take its largest lead of the day at 51-34 after a Crumly triple in the final minute before halftime.
The lead remained in double-digits for much of the second half, but Covenant had to stave off a comeback attempt from the visiting Hawks.
A Charvez' Hobson layup with 11:55 left cut the Scots' lead to 60-56 and capped a 13-1 run for Huntingdon. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Spragg and James Mitchell upped the lead back to double figures at 66-56 with 11:10 left. Spragg and Crumly connected on triples over the next few minutes to keep Huntingdon at bay and the lead got back to 16, 76-60, after a pair of Dryden free throws with 5:06 left.
Huntingdon (6-5, 1-3 USA South) was led by Kyante Pines' double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds. R.J. Jones was the only other player for the Hawks in double figures as he poured in 13 points off the bench. Leading-scorer Brandon McLean was held to four points, but grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Bryant Reid added seven points and seven assists, while Cam Boyd had eight points.
Covenant ended the game shooting 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field, including 23 assists, with 12 3-pointers and a 14-of-23 effort at the foul line. The Scots were able to overcome 21 turnovers by forcing 24 giveaways from Huntingdon.
Huntingdon held a 52-31 rebounding edge and produced 23 second-chance points on 25 offensive rebounds. The Hawks connected on just 39.2 percent (29-of-74) from the floor and only 11-of-23 at the charity stripe.
Covenant will hit the road for two USA South games next weekend. The first is a trip to Danville, Va., to face Averett on Friday, Jan. 12. Tip-off at the Grant Center is set for 7:30 p.m.
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