LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Down by 14 in the second half, the Covenant men's basketball team mounted a rally to force overtime and then made key plays down the stretch to earn a 72-70 win over Maryville in front of a packed Barnes PE Center on Wednesday night.
Covenant (13-7, 10-3 USA South) defended its home court once again as the Scots moved to 8-0 at Barnes PE Center this year. The win also secured a season sweep of Maryville (5-14, 4-8 USA South).
Covenant struggled through the first 30 minutes of the game and trailed 49-35 with 9:37 left in the second half. Maryville's Felix Uadiale threw down a dunk to make it a 14-point game, but was called for a technical foul after hanging on the rim.
That call ignited Covenant and the packed Barnes PE Center.
The Scots rattled off a 21-6 run over a span of seven minutes to gain a 56-55 lead with 2:18 left in regulation. During the run, Covenant's Will Crumly fouled out but Zack Allen stepped up and scored 15 straight points for the Scots, including a go-ahead 3-pointer that made it 56-55.
Covenant held a 62-59 lead with 16 seconds left, but Maryville's JR Sanders buried a 3-pointer with seven seconds left to even the score at 62. Covenant would not be able to get off a good look in time as the game entered overtime.
Covenant made just one field goal in the overtime session, but James Mitchell's 3-pointer tied the score at 66-66 with 3:48 left. Two free throws from Promise Igbanu gave Covenant a 69-68 lead with 27 seconds remaining and two Maryville missed free throws on the other end gave the host Scots a chance to seal the game. Chris Barnette drained two free throws with 11 seconds left and Igbanu made 1-of-2 with four seconds to go to make it 72-70.
Maryville's last chance saw Sanders drive the lane, but his wild shot was off the mark as time expired.
Allen finished with 17 points for Covenant on 7-of-12 shooting. Crumly ended with 15 points and six rebounds, while Barnette chipped in 10 points with seven rebounds and seven assists. Igbanu had eight points and four rebounds off the bench.
Covenant shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49) from the field with eight 3-pointers and 20-of-27 at the foul line.
Sanders led all players with 27 points and five assists. Uadiale had 17 points as Maryville connected on 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the floor and only 10-of-20 at the foul line.
Maryville led for the entire first half as Brice Martin scored all nine of his points on the night in the period. Maryville shot 48.4 percent in the half and led by as many as nine.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak in overtime games for Covenant. The Scots' last overtime win before Wednesday night came in 2017 against William Peace at home.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT
Covenant will host Piedmont in a USA South contest on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.
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