NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In its final exhibition game of the season, the Covenant men's basketball team fell to NCAA Division I foe Lipscomb, 119-48, on Monday night inside Allen Arena.
The game was an exhibition for Covenant. The Scots will take a five-game regular season win streak into their Dec. 28 contest at Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Lipscomb, the defending Atlantic Sun Tournament champions and 2018 NCAA Tournament participant, counted the contest as regular season and moves to 8-3. Two of those losses for the Bisons were to Belmont by a combined six points, and the third loss came at Louisville by four points.
Covenant missed its first four shots as Lipscomb grabbed a 9-0 lead before a Mitchell Hollis 3-pointer put the Scots on the board at the 16:30 mark. The Scots started 1-of-6 from the field with six turnovers in the first six-plus minutes of play.
James Mitchell hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to get the offense going as the Scots trailed 23-9 with 11:44 left in the first.
Lipscomb opened the game up with a 22-0 run over a six-plus minute stretch to extend its lead to 43-9 with 5:11 left in the period. The Bisons held a 59-14 lead at the break.
Covenant found tough sledding on offense as Lipscomb's size proved to be the difference. The Scots attempted only six two-point field goals in the first half.
Lipscomb would roll to the victory in the second half. The Bisons made 60.5 percent in the first half and an even 59 percent in the final 20 minutes.
Bryce Watts scored 10 points, all in the second half, to lead the Scots. Ryan Gilbert and Hollis had eight points apiece. After making four shots in the first half, Covenant shot 34.2 percent (13-of-38) in the second half.
Garrison Mathews led all players with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. John Matt Merritt had 21 points for Lipscomb, while Rob Marberry had 14 points and five assists. The Bisons shot 59.7 percent (46-of-77) from the field with 12 3-pointers and 15-for-19 at the free throw line.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Covenant will break for Christmas before taking the court in the Cru Holiday Classic on Dec. 28-29. The Scots face Classic host Mary Hardin-Baylor on Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. EST (5 p.m. CST).
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