LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant women's basketball team overcame a halftime deficit by scoring 51 second half points to outlast visiting Rust 80-70 in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon inside Barnes PE Center.
Emma Grimes tied a career-high with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting with five 3-pointers to lead three Covenant players in double figure scoring. Aleigha Williams had 15 points and Joanna Smith recorded 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Grace Potter, making her first career start, added eight points and six rebounds.
The victory snapped a brief, two-game losing skid for the Scots (5-2). Rust, which was playing its second game in as many days after falling at Birmingham Southern on Friday, drops to 0-10 on the year.
Rust controlled much of the first half and led for the majority of the opening two quarters. Covenant trailed by one at 16-15 after the first quarter, but Rust extended that lead to 31-21 with three minutes left in the second quarter. Covenant would cut the deficit to seven at 36-29 at halftime.
The third quarter was the turning point of the contest. Covenant outscored Rust 31-11 in the period, while making 91.7 percent (11-of-12) from the field in the quarter. The Scots also made 8-of-10 from the foul line and used that hot shooting to take the lead for good. Trailing 43-35, the Scots went on a 13-2 run, capped by an Alex Quimby layup, giving Covenant a 48-45 lead with 3:39 left in the period.
Covenant led by as many as 14 in the third after a long jumper was put in by Clara Dirkse making it 59-45 with 36 seconds left. The Scots held a 60-47 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, Covenant led 72-62 after a Noelle Moran 3-pointer with 3:03 left, but Rust made one last push. The Lady Bearcats would slice Covenant's lead to 74-70 with 1:41 remaining, but consecutive layups from Williams and Grimes extended the lead once again and iced the game for the Scots.
Covenant shot 45 percent (27-of-60) for the game with 14 assists on those made field goals. The Scots connected on 9-of-17 from 3-point land and 17-of-22 at the foul line.
Rust was led by Megan Rayford's double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. Jasmine Golden had 19 points and six rebounds, while Chelsea Gilbert made six 3-pointers and had 18 points on the day. Jasmine Pitchford totaled nine assists, seven rebounds and five points. Rust made just 39.7 percent (29-of-73) from the floor, but outrebounded Covenant 44-33, with 17 second-chance points.
After taking a break for Christmas, Covenant will hit the road and face Millsaps in Jackson, Miss., on Dec. 30. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CST (4 p.m. EST).
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