LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant women's basketball team erased a 20-point deficit and led by three in the final minute, but two 3-pointers from Piedmont's Jatasia Bailey pushed the visiting Lions past the Scots, 80-77, in USA South action on Friday night.
Covenant (1-4, 0-1 USA South) trailed by 18 at the end of the first quarter and then by 20 early in the second period before mounting a huge rally. A Kaley Hallmark jumper gave the Scots a 61-60 lead with 7:33 remaining in the fourth quarter and an Abi Chatham 3-pointer gave Covenant a 76-72 lead with 2:42 remaining.
Ahead 77-74, Piedmont's Bailey drained a triple from the corner to knot the score at 77-77 with 50 seconds to go. After a Covenant turnover on the ensuing inbounds play, Bailey hit another 3-pointer, from the exact same spot as the previous triple, to give the Lions an 80-77 lead with 48 seconds left.
The Scots had three 3-point attempts on their next possession, but could not find the mark and Covenant was forced to foul. However, Piedmont's Amari Price missed both free throws with 18.8 seconds left, leaving the door open for Covenant to tie the game. After two timeouts, Covenant's Bekah Walter heaved a deep 3-point attempt that missed in the final seconds and a Piedmont rebound sealed the game.
Hallmark led Covenant with 19 points, while Chatham had a season-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Hannah Monday recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Raquel Rosa added 11 points and five assists. Taylor Robinson dished out a team-best seven assists as Covenant recorded 22 assists on 27 made field goals.
Price was the catalyst for Piedmont (6-2, 1-0 USA South) with a triple-double of 19 points, 12 assists, and 12 rebounds. She also collected six steals on the night. Bailey finished with 19 points and Hope Franklin had 13 points.
Piedmont raced out to a 27-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lions shot 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from the floor in the period, while Covenant connected on just 22.2 percent (4-of-18). Covenant got back within 11 (44-33) at the half after outscoring Piedmont 24-17 in the second quarter.
For the game, Covenant shot 39.7 percent (27-of-68) from the field with nine 3-pointers. Piedmont connected on 45.8 percent (33-of-72) from the floor and dominated the paint with a 54-24 edge in points from close range.
Covenant will host Huntingdon on Saturday at 6 p.m. inside Barnes PE Center.
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