MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Will Crumly scored a career-high 28 points and the Covenant men's basketball team used nine 3-pointers in the first half to build a double-digit lead and defeat Maryville, 79-58, in USA South action on Tuesday night inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium.
The game was the conference opener for both teams and featured a rematch of last year's USA South Tournament championship tilt, won by Maryville. The victory for Covenant (1-3, 1-0 USA South) is the first of the season.
The 21-point home loss for Maryville (1-4, 0-1 USA South) is the largest margin of defeat at home, on record, for the northern Scots since Greensboro took a 23-point win during the 1993-94 season.
Crumly and the Covenant Scots enjoyed sizzling shooting in the first half. Covenant knocked down nine 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and Crumly had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the period. After falling behind 3-0, Covenant went on an 11-2 run, aided by a pair of triples from James Mitchell, to go ahead 11-5. The visiting Scots kept the foot on the gas and extended the lead to 31-14 after another Mitchell 3-pointer at the 8:10 mark of the period.
Covenant took a 46-30 lead into halftime after shooting 53.3 percent (16-of-30) from the field and 9-of-16 from deep.
The lead stretched to 20 in the early minutes of the second half as Crumly converted an easy layup followed by a 3-pointer to make it 57-34 with 15:17 remaining. Covenant took its largest lead of the night at 30 (74-44) after two Mitchell free throws with 6:29 to go.
Crumly finished 12-of-16 from the floor with three 3-pointers for his 28 points, besting his previous career-high of 26 set earlier this season. Crumly narrowly missed a double-double as he grabbed nine rebounds, while also registering three blocks.
Mitchell had 16 points with four 3-pointers and Noah Oetjen scored a season-high 13 points to go with three rebounds. Bailey Spragg also just missed a double-double as he recorded 10 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Mitchell Hollis chipped in eight points and Gage Henry dished out four assists.
For the game, Covenant shot an even 50 percent (28-of-56) with 11 3-pointers and 12-of-14 at the free throw line. The Scots led for nearly 37 minutes of the contest.
Maryville, which opened the season ranked in the D3hoops.com Top 25 and was selected as the preseason favorite in the USA South, was led by Dante Hoppa's 14 points. Maryville struggled to find the range all game and connected on 27.3 percent (18-of-66) from the field. The host Scots scored 17 points from the foul line where they went 17-of-24.
Covenant hosts LaGrange on Friday in a key USA South game. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. inside Barnes PE Center.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here