LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- James Mitchell hit 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Covenant men's basketball team to an 80-71 victory over Piedmont on Wednesday night inside Barnes PE Center.
Mitchell broke his own Covenant NCAA-era record with 10 3-pointers and became the first Scot to hit 10 triples in a game since Ben Britt achieved the feat on Dec. 10, 2005. Mitchell hit six 3-pointers in the first half and finished 10-of-16 from behind the arc on the night.
It was Mitchell's final 3-pointer of the night that sparked a 9-0 run in the second half that gave the Scots a 70-55 lead, their largest lead of the game. Chris Barnette and Jared Jauch followed with treys of their own on the next two Covenant possessions as the Scots opened up a 15-point lead with 7:03 remaining.
Covenant hit 17 3-pointers on the night and shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from deep. For the game, the Scots connected on 51.9 percent (28-of-54) with 22 assists on those 28 made field goals.
With the win, Covenant (14-8, 11-4 USA South) secured at least a share of the USA South West Division regular season title for a second straight year. The Scots can win the division outright with one win over the last three games, or one Huntingdon loss over their final four games.
The victory also clinched a fifth straight winning season for Covenant, setting a program record.
The hot shooting from Mitchell helped the Scots overcome a slow start in the first half. Mitchell hit two 3-pointers within a minute early in the first half to give the Scots an 8-4 lead and his third 3-pointer regained the lead for the Scots at 17-15 with 9:04 left in the opening period.
Brady Palmer hit back-to-back 3-pointers later in the first half and Mitchell added his sixth triple of the half with under a minute to go that gave Covenant a 38-33 lead entering halftime.
Piedmont (12-10, 7-8 USA South) opened the second half on a 9-3 run to grab a 42-41 lead with 17 minutes left, but a Will Crumly layup and a Mitchell 3-pointer on consecutive possessions gave the lead back to the Scots for good.
Crumly finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Barnette added 13 points and seven rebounds. Jauch dished out nine assists.
Piedmont was led by Will Richter and Jordan Foote with 16 points each. Evan Easton scored 11 points. The visiting Lions hit 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field with eight 3-pointers and held a 31-26 edge in rebounding.
Covenant will host Averett in its final regular season home game on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. with Senior Day activities taking place prior to the game.
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