LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Will Crumly and Chris Barnette recorded double-doubles, with Barnette coming two rebounds shy of a triple-double, and the Covenant men's basketball team pulled away from Berea late in the second half for an 81-76 victory inside Barnes PE Center on Tuesday night.
Covenant (11-7, 8-3 USA South) remains perfect at home this season with a 6-0 mark, while maintaining a firm grasp on first place in the USA South West Division.
Crumly totaled a game-high 28 points, on 11-of-16 shooting, and 13 rebounds to lead the way. Barnette had 15 points and a career-high 11 assists, while collecting eight rebounds in a near triple-double. Zack Allen hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 19 points and three blocks, while James Mitchell hit four 3-pointers and had 14 points in the win.
Despite those big efforts, Covenant was locked in a tight game with under six minutes left. The Scots trailed, 59-58, after Berea's Jacob Keibler made a layup with 5:49 remaining.
The 3-point shot made the difference over the final minutes for the Scots. Allen and Mitchell hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Covenant a 64-59 lead with 4:58 left, then the tandem each hit one more triple over the next two minutes to extend the lead to 11 (72-61) with 2:42 left.
Barnette hit five free throws in the final two minutes to help seal the win. Barnette scored nine of his 15 points in the second half, while doling out seven assists in the period. His 11 assists are the most since Bailey Spragg dished out 12 in a game at Concordia (Texas) in 2019.
Early on, Crumly was the go-to man for the Scots. Crumly had 14 points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting and scored eight straight points for Covenant at one point in the first half. It was the third straight 20-plus point game for Crumly, and the seventh time this year he has crossed the 20-point plateau in a contest.
Berea (9-9, 5-6 USA South) would not go quietly. The Mountaineers only led for just over a minute in the first half as the Scots built a 12-point lead, but rallied back in the second half. Berea led by two after a pair of Torell Carter free throws with 9:11 left, and had the same margin after Keibler's bucket a few minutes later.
Terique Miller led Berea with 19 points, while Carter added 18 and Quae Charlton 10 off the bench. The Mountaineers shot 43.3 percent (26-of-60) for the game and 18-of-23 at the foul line.
Covenant shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the field, the seventh time this year the Scots have eclipsed 50 percent shooting. The Scots hit nine 3-pointers, all by either Allen or Mitchell, and made 16-of-20 at the free throw line.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT
Covenant returns to action on Saturday against Greensboro. Tip-off inside Barnes PE Center is set for 2 p.m.
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