ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- Three players scored in double figures for the Covenant women's basketball team, but the Scots could not overcome North Carolina Wesleyan in a 63-58 loss on Saturday inside Everett Gym.
The loss snaps a two-game win streak for Covenant, who moves to 4-9 overall and 2-4 in the USA South. The host Battling Bishops improve to 6-8 on the year and 3-2 in conference play.
Joanna Smith tallied her fourth straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Aleigha Williams registered her second consecutive double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. Bekah Walter added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Clara Dirkse finished with eight points and two rebounds and Rachel Price grabbed nine rebounds.
Coming off a triple-overtime victory at William Peace on Friday night, Covenant suffered from cold shooting and 19 turnovers in the opening half on Saturday. However, the Scots only trailed by five, 29-24, at the break.
In the third quarter, Covenant began to heat up and limit its turnovers. The Scots outscored NC Wesleyan 21-15 in the period and shot over 41 percent from the field. Dirkse and Smith led the way in the quarter with eight and seven points, respectively. Down 42-34 with 3:23 left in the period, Covenant rattled off an 11-2 scoring run to end the period. Dirkse began the stretch with a 3-pointer and Smith scored five points during the run that gave the Scots a 45-44 lead entering the fourth.
In the fourth, Covenant grabbed a 51-49 lead after a Williams jumper with 8:07 remaining, but the Battling Bishops scored the next 11 points over a three-and-a-half minute stretch to take a 58-49 lead. Covenant cut its deficit to 61-58 after a pair of Walter free throws with 26 seconds left, but NC Wesleyan secured the game from the free throw line on its next possession.
Covenant held an edge in rebounding at 51-42, but shot just 35.6 percent (21-of-59) from the field and 13-for-21 at the foul line. The Scots were also plagued by 29 turnovers. NC Wesleyan connected on only 32 percent (24-of-75) from the field.
The Battling Bishops were paced by Kenyatta Harris' 16 points and eight rebounds. Timyra Staton added nine points and six rebounds in the win.
Covenant will travel to USA South foe Mary Baldwin in Staunton, Va., on Friday, Jan. 22. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.
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