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Scots Squeeze Past Pride, 94-89, Remain Atop USA South West

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

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Will Crumly and Mitchell Hollis combined for 46 points and the Covenant men's basketball team remained unbeaten in the USA South after a 94-89 victory over Greensboro on Friday evening inside Hanes Gymnasium.

Covenant (10-6, 9-0 USA South) has won five straight games for a second time this season and continues a program-record start to league play at 9-0. It was the first win inside Hanes Gymansium in four tries for the Scots.

The Scots built a 16-point lead in the first half, but Greensboro (2-15, 1-8 USA South) battled back in the second half. The teams traded leads over the final 10 minutes of action before Covenant took the lead for good on a pair of Tavian Roundtree free throws that made it 85-84 with 2:39 left.

Tough defense and made free throws were the key in the final two minutes as Greensboro was held scoreless for two-plus minutes, while the Scots made 11-of-12 at the charity stripe to secure the win.

After leading for much of the game, Covenant found itself trailing 76-72 after an Eric Peaks 3-pointer with 7:40 remaining in the second half. However, the Scots went on a quick 7-0 run in a span of just over a minute to regain the lead at 79-76. Bailey Spragg had five of the points during the run and Roundtree added a steal and a layup to cap the run.

Greensboro briefly regained the lead on a Michael Phifer layup that gave the host Pride an 84-83 edge with 2:46 left, but Covenant ended the game on an 11-5 run aided by free throws.

Crumly scored a game-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Hollis had a career-high tying 21 points as he went 9-of-10 at the foul line and added three assists. Spragg collected 12 points, eight rebounds, and a game-high seven assists, while James Mitchell buried five 3-pointers and had 17 points. Off the bench, Roundtree finished with seven points and William Bryan had six rebounds and five points.

Covenant hit 13 3-pointers in the win, marking the 11th time this season the Scots have made double-digit treys. The Scots shot 50.8 percent (30-of-59) from the field and were 21-of-25 at the foul line. Covenant also held a 33-29 advantage in rebounds.

The Scots made eight 3-pointers in the opening half and opened up a 16-point lead late in the period. A Crumly triple with 4:29 left in the first gave Covenant a 44-28 lead, but the Scots would not make a field goal for the rest of the half and Greensboro cut the lead to single digits (46-37) at the half. Crumly had 13 of his 25 points in the first half, while Hollis had 11. 

Covenant held the lead until a Peaks layup at the 9:23 mark of the second half gave Greensboro a 70-69 edge. The lead changed five times over the final nine minutes before Covenant made its final run to earn the win.

Carmoni Marks and Keyshawn Dorsey each had 16 points to lead the Pride. Peaks added 15, while Peaks and Kevon Meertins had 14 apiece. Greensboro shot 52.3 percent (34-of-65) from the floor with 11 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

Covenant will be back in action on Saturday at Averett in a USA South contest. Tip-off in Danville, Va., is set for 4 p.m.

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