LAGRANGE, Ga. -- Down by 16 at halftime, the Covenant men's basketball team pulled off another comeback victory as Mitchell Hollis' 3-pointer with 22 seconds left gave the Scots a 79-76 win over LaGrange on Saturday afternoon at Mariotti Gym.
Will Crumly scored 32 points to lead Covenant (14-7, 13-1 USA South) as the Scots kept a stranglehold on first place in the USA South West Division. It was the fourth 30-plus point game for Crumly this season, while the sophomore also pulled down nine rebounds and had two blocks.
The win marked a second straight game that Covenant overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half. The 16-point deficit is the largest the Scots have faced in USA South games this season.
With the game tied at 76-76 late, it was Hollis that ended up taking the big shot for the Scots. With possession and 38 seconds left, Hollis received a pass from Crumly in the corner and knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Scots a three-point lead. LaGrange had a shot at tying the game, but Travis Thompson's contested 3-pointer missed with two seconds left and a scramble for the rebound ended with the buzzer sounding.
Hollis was a perfect 4-for-4 from deep and scored 12 points. Daevon Platt scored a career-high 16 points, 14 of which came in the second half, to aid in the comeback effort. Bailey Spragg added nine points and seven assists, while James Mitchell chipped in seven points.
In the first half, it looked like LaGrange (14-7, 10-4 USA South) would run away with the game. The host Panthers shot a blistering 63.6 percent (21-of-33) from the field and led 50-34 at the break. Thompson was a major reason for LaGrange's success as he scored 23 points on 10-of-10 shooting in the period.
Covenant chipped away at the deficit in the second half. Down 55-41, Covenant went on a 16-5 run to cut the deficit to 60-57 after a Crumly 3-pointer with 11:54 left. The Scots tied the score at 67 apiece a few minutes later after a Mitchell 3-pointer and a Spragg layup with 8:14 to go.
The teams traded leads for several minutes, but Platt gave the Scots a 76-74 edge with his two free throws at the 1:46 mark. LaGrange tied the score once again on a Jalen McCallum bucket with 1:24 remaining. Both teams had empty possession until Hollis hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 22 seconds left.
Covenant shot 60 percent in the second half and finished the evening at 50 percent (29-of-58) with 10 3-pointers and an 11-of-15 effort at the foul line. The Scots converted 19 LaGrange turnovers in 24 points.
Thompson scored 30 points to lead the Panthers. Julian Cameron had 12 points with Jamison McCray scoring 11 and McCallum 10. LaGrange shot 50.8 percent (30-of-59) from the field and held a 35-28 rebounding advantage.
Covenant continues its road trip on Friday, Feb. 8 at Brevard. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
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