DEMOREST, Ga. -- The Covenant women's basketball team had a quick start, but could not sustain the early momentum in an 89-56 loss at Piedmont on Friday night inside Cave Arena in Demorest.
The loss drops Covenant to 7-14 overall and 5-8 in USA South play, while Piedmont goes to 19-4 on the year and 13-1 in the conference.
Joanna Smith led the way for the Scots with 12 points and six rebounds and Bekah Walter added eight points. Off the bench, Covenant received nine points from Abi Chatham and six from Margo Koby. Kaley Hallmark dished out four assists and collected four steals.
Covenant jumped out to a nine-point lead in the early minutes of the contest. After trailing 1-0, the Scots went on a 12-2 run, capped by a Koby jumper, to take a 12-3 lead with 6:34 left in the first quarter. Walter had four points during the run, while Smith and Taylor Robinson each knocked down a 3-pointer.
Piedmont responded and tied the score at 18 apiece heading into the second. The host Lions then outscored the Scots 24-10 in the second period to grab a 42-28 lead entering halftime. Piedmont shot 69.2 percent in the second quarter as Jatasia Bailey and Hope Franklin had six points each.
The Piedmont lead stretched to 21 in the third period at 53-32, but Covenant answered with a 10-0 run over a span of less than two minutes to trim the margin to 11 (53-42). Chatham and Smith had five points each during the run to keep the Scots within striking distance.
However, the Lions rattled off a 25-4 run spanning the rest of the third quarter and into the early moments of the fourth to seize control. Piedmont's edge got as large as 36 late in the period.
Bailey hit six 3-pointers and had a game-high 27 points to lead Piedmont. Amari Price added 16 points, seven assists and seven steals, while Franklin and Rachel Irby had 13 points apiece. The Lions connected on 54.7 percent (29-of-53) from the field with eight 3-pointers and a 23-of-34 effort at the line.
Covenant finished shooting 38.6 percent (22-of-57) for the game with three 3-pointers.
Covenant is back in action on Saturday at Brevard. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
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