LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Behind 14 points apiece from Aleigha Williams and Bekah Walter, the Covenant women's basketball team opened the 2015-16 campaign with a 69-62 victory over visiting Berry on Friday night inside Barnes PE Center.
Covenant (1-0) wins its season opener for the second time in the last three years and both victories have come against Berry.
The new-look Scots held Berry to just 29.2 percent (21-of-72) shooting and forced 26 turnovers in the process. Williams had 14 points and five rebounds, while Walter's 14-point effort came in a reserve role. Joanna Smith tallied seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while Kaley Hallmark added 12 points and five rebounds.
Both teams went back-and-forth in the first quarter, but an Imani Smith 3-pointer with 1:17 left in the period gave Berry a 17-16 lead heading in the second.
Covenant outscored Berry 21-11 in the second quarter. The Scots started the period scoring the first six points, capped by consecutive baskets from Walter, to go ahead 22-17. The Scots extended their lead to 30-22 after a Hallmark jumper with 4:01 left. Covenant led by as many as 10 in the period and settled for a 37-28 halftime lead.
The Scots took their largest lead of the game at 49-36 after a Jessica Bell free throw with 2:25 left in the third quarter. Berry managed to trim the deficit to 51-46 by the end of the period. In the fourth, Covenant led 62-60 after an Emma Cook 3-pointer, but a Walter conventional three-point play brought the lead back to five and the Scots never looked back.
Zarriah Pierce led Berry (0-1) with 16 points and 14 rebounds, whille Smith recorded 20 points and eight boards. Valerie McClure chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Covenant will travel to Sewanee on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. EST.
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