BEREA, Ky. -- The Covenant women's basketball team cut a 14-point fourth quarter deficit down to one, but fell to host Berea, 80-72, in USA South action on Saturday evening at the Seabury Center.
Covenant falls to 2-7 overall and 0-3 in league play. Berea remains undefeated in conference action at 4-0 and is 7-2 overall.
The visiting Scots trailed 64-51 heading into the final period and the host Mountaineer extended their lead to 14, 67-53, with 8:23 remaining. However, Covenant rattled off a 15-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to get within one at 69-68 with 3:47 to go. Kaley Hallmark made three 3-pointers during the stretch and her triple with under four minutes remaining got the Scots to within a point.
A 3-pointer from Berea's Briana Lanham upped the Mountaineer lead to four, 72-68, with just over two minutes left. Covenant got back within one possession briefly with 31 seconds left, but Berea made enough free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Bekah Walter had 17 points to lead the Scots, while Hallmark had 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Joanna Smith chipped in 13 points with six rebounds. Covenant shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the floor with a season-high 13 3-pointers.
Lanham had a game-high 22 points to go with nine rebounds to lead Berea. Bailee Vanover and Kristin Barnes had 13 points apiece, and Vanover added four assists.
The Mountaineers were held to 41 percent (25-of-61) shooting with seven 3-pointers, but outscored Covenant 23-9 at the free throw line. Berea finished the evening 23-of-34 from the charity stripe, while Covenant was 9-of-14.
Covenant got out to a 5-2 lead early on as Hallmark buried a 3-pointer with 8:17 left in the first period. An 11-0 run by the Mountaineers, who won the USA South West Division regular season title last season, gave the hosts a 13-5 lead. That lead would be one that Berea held for the rest of the way.
Covenant will be off for Christmas Break until Friday, Dec. 28 as the Scots compete in the UT Dallas Classic in Richardson, Texas. Covenant will face UT Dallas on Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. EST (5 p.m. CST).
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