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Season-in-Review: Women's Basketball

Nina Grauley/Sports Information
Nina Grauley/Sports Information

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LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant women's basketball team secured their first winning season in five years after going 14-12 overall and 8-6 in conference play.

Covenant qualified for the USA South Tournament for a second consecutive year and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament.

One of the highlights of the season was Covenant's eight-game winning streak, which tied a program record. The streak began on Jan. 23 and was capped with a 63-53 victory over Huntington in the first round of the USA South Tournament. The winning streak also saw five straight wins on the road, including a win at eventual USA South champion Piedmont on Feb. 3.

GAME OF THE YEAR:

There were many memorable games during the year. Covenant won a double-overtime contest at Sewanee on Dec. 30, won at Piedmont for the first time in 18 years, and took down eventual USA South West Division regular season champion Berea over the course of the year.

However, the game that mattered most was in the first round of the USA South Tournament. For the first time in the USA South, the Scots were able to advance to the quarterfinals after a win at Huntingdon. Behind 17 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and an assist from Joanna Smith, the Scots were able to fend off the Hawks with a late 12-2 run in the fourth quarter for a 63-53 victory.

After falling twice to Huntingdon by a combined five points during the regular season, Covenant used a strong fourth quarter to finally get over the hump. The teams were tied at 47-47 entering the fourth quarter, thanks to an 8-0 Huntingdon run to end the third period, but the Scots outscored the host Hawks 16-6 over the final 10 minutes to secure the win.

The Scots had the final big run going on a 12-2 spurt to end the game. Jessica Bell made a driving layup with 3:21 left to give Covenant a 53-51 lead and the Scots would not trail again. A Smith basket followed by a Kaley Hallmark 3-pointer with 40 seconds left stretched Covenant's lead to 61-53 and seal the win.

The Scots also saw a major contribution from Bell, who recorded 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a block in the contest. Covenant's leading-scorer, Bekah Walter, was also able to chip in nine points and a couple of boards.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES:

Some amazing, but true performances during the year

  • Emma Grimes broke a program record for 3-pointers made in a game when she drained 10 in a victory over LaGrange on Jan. 23. Grimes was 10-of-13 from deep and 11-of-15 from the field overall in scoring a career-high 32 points. 
  • Three days after Grimes scored 32 points, Joanna Smith tallied a career-high 30 in a Senior Night win over Agnes Scott on Jan. 26. No Covenant player had scored 30 or more points in a game since 2010, but Smith and Grimes accomplished the feat in back-to-back games.
  • Speaking of Smith, the junior had two games of 20-plus rebounds and set the program's single-game mark with 23 in a loss at Berea on Jan. 19. Smith also had 21 rebounds in the double-overtime victory at Sewanee on Dec. 30.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Check out highlights from Grimes' 10 3-pointer night against LaGrange on Jan. 23.

STAT LEADERS:

Points per Game:
Bekah Walter (13.0)
Joanna Smith (11.9)
Kaley Hallmark (11.7)

Shooting Percentage:
Jessica Bell (.512)... fourth in USA South
Joanna Smith (.473)
Kaley Hallmark (.456)

3-Point Percentage:
Emma Grimes (.402)... fourth in USA South
Kaley Hallmark (.387)
Taylor Robinson (.348)

Free Throw Percentage:
Emma Grimes (.867)
Bekah Walter (.846)
Taylor Robinson (.792)

Rebounds per Game:
Joanna Smith (10.6)
Kaley Hallmark (4.8)
Jessica Bell (4.5)

Assists per Game:
Kaley Hallmark (3.1)
Jessica Bell (2.5)
Bekah Walter (1.9)

AWARD WINNERS:

All-USA South West Division
Kaley Hallmark - second team

USA South All-Sportsmanship
Morgan Douglass

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

In My Words: Emma Grimes
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