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Triples Key in Fifth Straight Win for Men's Hoops

James Mitchell
James Mitchell (photo credit: Nina Grauley/ Sports Information)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- No matter the degree of difficulty, it seemed that every shot the Covenant men's basketball team attempted found its way through the hoop.

Covenant hit a season-high 15 3-pointers, including nine in the second half, and James Mitchell went 7-of-9 from deep as the Scots defeated Oglethorpe, 88-80, for a fifth straight victory on Saturday afternoon inside Barnes PE Center.

Mitchell drained four 3-pointers in the second half alone, including a miracle shot as the shot clock expired midway through the period, to lead Covenant (5-3) with 21 points. Mitchell Hollis had five triples and finished with 17 points. Bailey Spragg and Will Crumly each had double-doubles as Spragg totaled 16 points and 10 assists, while Crumly had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Covenant shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the field, but connected on a sizzling 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from distance. Over the final 20 minutes, Covenant went 9-of-14 from 3-point territory.

The Scots led by as many as 10 in the first half, but the visiting Stormy Petrels came back to knot the score at 40-40 at halftime. Will Perry had 19 of his game-high 26 points for Oglethorpe in the first half as both teams shot 50 percent from the field.

Early in the second half, Mitchell connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Scots a 49-44 lead with 17:41 remaining. Triples from Hollis and Noah Oetjen a few minutes later pushed the margin to 10, 57-47, at the 15:51 mark. 

Covenant would maintain a double-digit lead for much of the final 15 minutes of the game. With the shot clock winding down, Mitchell hoisted a desperation 3-pointer from long range over Oglethorpe's 6-foot-7 Tom Inungu and the ball swished through to give the Scots a 69-54 lead with 10:18 left. That triple was Mitchell's seventh, and final, 3-ball of the day.

The Scots took their largest lead of the game on a pair of Crumly free throws at the 7:11 mark that made it 77-60. Leading by 11 with under two minutes left, Oetjen also sank a desperation shot as the shot clock wound down. Oetjen's jumper, from just inside the 3-point arc, sealed the game as Covenant extended the lead to 85-72.

Oetjen finished with seven points and five rebounds. Covenant turned 16 Oglethorpe turnovers into 24 points and also made 17-of-20 from the free throw line.

Oglethorpe (5-5) was led by Perry's 26 points. Lane Foster and Will Koch had 15 apiece, while Koch grabbed nine rebounds. The Stormy Petrels shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the field with 13 3-pointers and a 15-of-22 effort from the free throw line.

UP NEXT

Covenant will play its second exhibition of the season when it travels to Nashville, Tenn., on Monday to square off with Division I foe Lipscomb. Tip-off in Allen Arena is set for 6:30 p.m. CST (7:30 p.m. EST). Tickets can be purchased online here

CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here