Covenant downs Maryville, 68-62, behind Crumly's 29 points

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Will Crumly and Chris Barnette combined for 48 points and the Covenant men's basketball team took down Maryville, 68-62, in the USA South opener on Wednesday night inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium. 

Crumly had a game-high 29 points, to go with nine rebounds, and Barnette poured in 19 points as Covenant (4-2, 1-0 USA South) opened conference play with a win at Maryville for a second consecutive year.

The 29-point effort from Crumly marked his fourth straight 20-plus point performance, while Barnette recorded 19 points for a second straight game. 

After trailing early on in the first half, Covenant gained the lead for good at 22-19 on a Barnette 3-pointer with 8:21 left in the first half. Barnette hit two more 3-pointers late in the half, including one in the final second of the period, as the Scots built a 35-27 edge at the break.

Barnette and Crumly had 11 points each in the first half, while Covenant connected on 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from the field in the period.

In the second half, Covenant took its largest lead of the night at 11 (45-34) after a pair of free throws from Barnette capped a quick, 6-0, spurt at the 14:14 mark. Maryville climbed to within striking distance several times over the final 14 minutes, but Covenant had an answer each time.

A Crumly bucket gave Covenant a 61-53 lead with 4:26 left and then Crumly answered again with a basket after Maryville had trimmed the Scots' lead to four with under three minutes left. 

Free throws were key down the stretch for Covenant as the Scots made 13-of-18 at the charity stripe in the second half and finished the game going 20-of-27 at the line. Crumly made 9-of-11 at the line to lead all players.

Promise Igbanu tallied a career-high 11 points off the bench for Covenant as he went 4-for-4 from the floor with two rebounds and two assists. Covenant shot 50 percent (21-of-42) for the game with six 3-pointers.

Maryville (0-6, 0-1 USA South) was led by Nicholas Clifton's 24 points and 12 rebounds while Joshua Brooks went for 13 points and four assists. The host Scots were limited to 37.9 percent (22-of-58) from the field and just 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from downtown.