LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men's basketball team held on for a narrow victory, 67-66, over Huntingdon on Tuesday night in a USA South Tournament first round game inside Barnes PE Center.
With the win, Covenant (18-8) advances to the semifinals of the USA South conference tournament where they will face the No. 2 East seed Methodist on Friday at 7 p.m. in Barnes PE Center.
In a tight game that saw 11 ties and 13 lead changes, Covenant owned the lead for less than five minutes of total game time. It came down to the final possession. With Covenant leading 67-66, Huntingdon got a defensive stop and the Hawks pushed the ball up the court with under 10 seconds to go. Isaiah King missed a short jumper, and a scramble for the rebound led to two tip-in opportunities for Huntingdon, but both missed as time expired.
Huntingdon pulled ahead by four with under six minutes to go, but Covenant responded with an 8-2 run. Noah Oetjen scored six straight points during the run, and assisted on another basket, to put the Scots up 63-61 with 2:46 to go.
Huntingdon's Scotty Chadwick hit a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead, until Spragg and Hollis came up with a basket each to make it 67-64 with 1:02 left. The Hawks' James Harris hit a jumper to make it a one-point game with 36 seconds left, leading to the final moments of the game.
Will Crumly and James Mitchell's 18 and 17 points, respectively, led the Scots. Crumly also grabbed nine rebounds and Mitchell had four steals. Spragg posted 13 points and seven assists. Oetjen ended with eight points and Hollis had seven. Covenant converted Huntingdon's 21 turnovers into 23 points and shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field.
The first half saw six ties and 10 lead changes. Huntingdon led by as many as six during the half, but held only a one-point lead at the break (36-35). Mitchell scored 11 of his 17 points in the opening half, while Spragg and Crumly had nine points each.
For Huntingdon (13-13), Isaiah King scored 18 points, and James Harris had 10 points and six assists. Huntingdon out-rebounded Covenant 31-24 and connected on 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the floor.
The Scots will host Methodist for the semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m. inside Barnes PE Center.
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