RICHARDSON, Texas -- Joanna Smith and Kaley Hallmark combined for 37 points, but the Covenant women's basketball team could not pull off a comeback victory in a 78-65 loss to McMurry in the finale of the UT Dallas Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Smith led Covenant (2-9) with 20 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, and nine rebounds and Hallmark added 17 points, three rebounds, and four steals.
Covenant trailed by 10 late in the second period, but finished the quarter by scoring five straight, all from Smith, to trim the deficit to five at 42-37 at the break.
The run continued into the third period and the Scots took their first lead of the game since the first quarter on a Margo Koby jumper that made it 54-52 with 4:25 remaining. The basket was two of Koby's career-high tying nine points on the afternoon.
From there, McMurry (4-9) would finish the period on a 12-1 run to grab a 64-55 lead entering the fourth. A Hallmark 3-pointer cut the Covenant deficit to six, 68-62, with 5:30 left but that would be as close as the Scots would get the rest of the afternoon.
Koby added a team-best four assists to go along with her nine points for the Scots. Covenant shot 41 percent (25-of-61) from the floor with six 3-pointers and a 9-for-13 effort at the foul line. The Scots produced 18 assists on those 25 made field goals.
Covenant had a 23-21 lead at the end of the first period. The Scots shot 56.3 percent in the quarter and Hallmark had six of her 17 points in the opening 10 minutes. An Abi Chatham layup gave the Scots an 11-6 lead, their largest of the game, with 6:11 left in the first. McMurry regained the lead early in the second and held it until midway through the third when the Scots made their run.
Sarah Doherty had 23 points to lead McMurry, while London Weilert had 18 points. Skyler Reyna added a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. McMurry shot 48.3 percent (29-of-60) for the game with 10 3-pointers, five of which were from Doherty.
Covenant will return to Barnes PE Center on Jan. 2 against USA South foe Agnes Scott. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
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