LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- For a second straight game the Covenant women's basketball found itself trailing by double-digits in the second half. Like Tuesday night at Sewanee, the Scots put on a late rally but this time could not overcome the opponent as Piedmont held on for a 59-54 USA South win on Friday afternoon inside Barnes PE Center.
Covenant (6-5, 0-1 USA South) trailed by 15 at 54-39 with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter, but would go on a 13-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to slice the deficit to 56-52 with 1:05 remaining. Bekah Walter had five points during the stretch, while Rachel Price and Aleigha Williams had two baskets apiece to fuel the rally.
But Piedmont's Dakota Sullens had the answer as she connected on a layup with 37 seconds left to bring the visiting Lions' lead to 58-52 and Piedmont would hold on from there to get the win.
Emma Grimes recorded her first career double-double at Covenant with 11 points and 10 rebounds with three assists and a steal. Williams led the Scots with 12 points to go along with six rebounds. Kaley Hallmark added 10 points and two assists. All four of Price's points on the afternoon came in the fourth quarter rally as she also tallied eight rebounds and three steals. All five of Walter's points in the game also came in the fourth quarter.
Piedmont (9-4, 2-0 USA South) jumped on Covenant early and led 14-7 at the 5:10 mark of the first period. The Lions extended that lead to 20-11 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams struggled to shoot the ball in the second quarter as Piedmont made just 30.8 percent and Covenant 35.7 percent from the field, but the Lions held a double-digit lead of 33-23 at the half.
Covenant scored the first six points of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 33-29. Piedmont answered by scoring the next 10 points to build the double-digit lead once again at 43-29. The Lions led 47-35 entering the fourth.
Piedmont was led by Carlie Shields and Sullens who each had 16 points. Amari Price had eight points and four steals, while Brianna Barrett had a game-high five assists to go with six steals and six points. The Lions shot 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the floor, but were just 1-for-15 from beyond the 3-point line.
Covenant held a sizeable 41-26 rebounding edge, with 16 offensive boards. The Scots made 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the field.
Covenant's game on Saturday vs. Salem has been postponed due to weather. No makeup date has been announced. The Scots will travel to Maryville on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
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