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Triples Key in Fifth Straight Win for Men's Hoops

James Mitchell
James Mitchell (photo credit: Nina Grauley/ Sports Information)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- No matter the degree of difficulty, it seemed that every shot the Covenant men's basketball team attempted found its way through the hoop.

Covenant hit a season-high 15 3-pointers, including nine in the second half, and James Mitchell went 7-of-9 from deep as the Scots defeated Oglethorpe, 88-80, for a fifth straight victory on Saturday afternoon inside Barnes PE Center.

Mitchell drained four 3-pointers in the second half alone, including a miracle shot as the shot clock expired midway through the period, to lead Covenant (5-3) with 21 points. Mitchell Hollis had five triples and finished with 17 points. Bailey Spragg and Will Crumly each had double-doubles as Spragg totaled 16 points and 10 assists, while Crumly had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Covenant shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the field, but connected on a sizzling 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from distance. Over the final 20 minutes, Covenant went 9-of-14 from 3-point territory.

The Scots led by as many as 10 in the first half, but the visiting Stormy Petrels came back to knot the score at 40-40 at halftime. Will Perry had 19 of his game-high 26 points for Oglethorpe in the first half as both teams shot 50 percent from the field.

Early in the second half, Mitchell connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Scots a 49-44 lead with 17:41 remaining. Triples from Hollis and Noah Oetjen a few minutes later pushed the margin to 10, 57-47, at the 15:51 mark. 

Covenant would maintain a double-digit lead for much of the final 15 minutes of the game. With the shot clock winding down, Mitchell hoisted a desperation 3-pointer from long range over Oglethorpe's 6-foot-7 Tom Inungu and the ball swished through to give the Scots a 69-54 lead with 10:18 left. That triple was Mitchell's seventh, and final, 3-ball of the day.

The Scots took their largest lead of the game on a pair of Crumly free throws at the 7:11 mark that made it 77-60. Leading by 11 with under two minutes left, Oetjen also sank a desperation shot as the shot clock wound down. Oetjen's jumper, from just inside the 3-point arc, sealed the game as Covenant extended the lead to 85-72.

Oetjen finished with seven points and five rebounds. Covenant turned 16 Oglethorpe turnovers into 24 points and also made 17-of-20 from the free throw line.

Oglethorpe (5-5) was led by Perry's 26 points. Lane Foster and Will Koch had 15 apiece, while Koch grabbed nine rebounds. The Stormy Petrels shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the field with 13 3-pointers and a 15-of-22 effort from the free throw line.


Covenant will play its second exhibition of the season when it travels to Nashville, Tenn., on Monday to square off with Division I foe Lipscomb. Tip-off in Allen Arena is set for 6:30 p.m. CST (7:30 p.m. EST). Tickets can be purchased online here


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