LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Three Covenant women's basketball players scored in double figures as the Scots opened the 2017-18 season with a 59-50 victory over Sewanee on Wednesday night inside Barnes PE Center.
It marks the second straight year that Covenant (1-0) has opened the season with a home win over Sewanee (0-1). The win is also the third straight season-opening victory for Covenant.
Bekah Walter came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points to lead the Scots. Jessica Bell just missed a double-double with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Joanna Smith had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Sewanee started off hot from the field in the opening period and gained an 11-point lead late in the quarter. The visiting Tigers shot 50 percent in the period, but Covenant cut the deficit to seven after scoring the final four points capped by a Walter jumper with 35 seconds left.
Covenant's defense came up big in the second period and held Sewanee to just a single point and 0-for-14 from the field. Covenant ended the quarter on an 11-0 run as Smith had four points in the run. Walter added a 3-pointer, while Kaylea McAllister and Raquel Rosa scored their first collegiate points during the stretch. A Smith basket late gave Covenant a 25-22 lead into halftime.
The teams were even throughout the third as the Scots held a 40-37 lead entering the fourth. Both teams suffered a prolonged scoring drought in the first four minutes of the final quarter, but a pair of Rosa free throws followed by jumper from the freshman gave the Scots a 46-43 lead with 5:49 left. McAllister gave Covenant its biggest lead of the game at the time with a 3-pointer making it 49-43 with 4:57 remaining.
A Bell jumper made it an eight-point game at 54-46 at the 1:33 mark and free throws down the stretch sealed the season-opening win for Covenant.
Rosa finished with six points and McAllister five in their Covenant debuts. Fellow freshman Hannah Monday came off the bench and grabbed six rebounds. Emma Grimes tallied eight rebounds as Covenant held a 51-39 rebounding edge.
Covenant finished 21-of-63 (33.3 percent) from the field, but made 14-of-17 at the free throw line with an 8-for-10 effort in the fourth quarter alone.
After shooting 50 percent in the opening period, Sewanee finished at 27.7 percent (18-of-65). Hannah McCormack and Bella Taylor each had 17 points to lead the Tigers, while Allison Hitchcock had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Covenant travels to Atlanta, Ga., on Friday to take on Oglethorpe. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
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