Covenant Rallies in 2nd Half to Oust Bishop Men

Damon McDowell receiving his Player of the Year Award from Commissioner Tom Hart
Damon McDowell receiving his Player of the Year Award from Commissioner Tom Hart

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. - The 2nd seeded NC Wesleyan College men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker of a game falling 58-53 to top seed Covenant College in the semifinals of the USA South Tournament Friday evening.

The championship game will be played at Covenant College and take place on Saturday, February 25 at 6:00pm between the Scots and East top seed Averett, who defeated LaGrange in double overtime in the first semifinal.

West top-seed, and host Covenant staged a huge second-half comeback to down East second-seed N.C. Wesleyan, 58-53, thanks to a 31-12 run over the final 16 minutes of the game. Will Crumly and Chris Barnette led the scoring for the Scots with 15 points each. Covenant shot 45 percent for the game while holding the Bishops to just 32 percent from the floor. Wesleyan led 43-30 early in the second half after leading by six at the break but could not hold off a Covenant charge while their offense went cold.

For the Battling Bishops, Player of the Year and senior guard Damon McDowell poured in a game-high 20 points and a block in the loss. McDowell shot 50 percent from three making 4 of 8 from long-range, but struggled from inside the arc making just 2 of 10 shots.

2nd team junior forward Isaiah Lewis , pictured below, also had a solid game finishing with 16 points and 8 rebounds and a block while sophomore guard Marquis Eskew tallied 8 points off the bench. Junior guard Brayden Dixon also registered 5 points and recorded team-highs in assists with five and steals with three while junior forward Sal-Bey Young led the team with 9 rebounds.

The Bishops finish their season 19-8 overall while Covenant improves to 18-6.