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Deneka leads BSC in 96-81 loss to Covenant

Harrison Deneka (photo by Tim Sofranko)
Harrison Deneka (photo by Tim Sofranko)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga.—Despite a career-high 29 points from sophomore Harrison Deneka, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team lost to Covenant on the road Saturday afternoon, 96-81.

The Panthers fell to 1-5, while the Scots moved to 5-3.

BSC pulled out to a 7-0 lead to open the game, but Covenant came back with an 11-2 run to pull ahead 11-9. The lead changed hands several times after that, with the Scots leading by two, 40-38, at the half.

A Deneka three-pointer to open the second half gave the Panthers their final lead of the game. The Scots steadily pulled ahead, going up by 12, 67-55, mid-way through the period, but the Panthers rallied with an 18-6 run to tie things up 73-73 with 5:55 remaining. Covenant proceeded to score the next nine points to go up 82-73 with 2:34 left on the clock, and expanded the lead to 15 by the final buzzer.

Deneka hit 11-19 from the field to lead BSC with 29 points, while senior Alex Avery added a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior Ian Thom also scored in double digits with 12 points, and he and Avery led the Panthers with three assists each.

Covenant's T.J. Cox led all players with a career-high 34 points on 10-16 shooting.

The Scots shot over 54 percent for the game while BSC shot 43 percent, including a 5-25 showing from beyond the arc. The Panthers held the rebounding advantage, 42-32.

BSC is back in action on Monday, Dec. 14, playing their first home game of the season, hosting Maryville at 4 p.m. in Bill Battle Coliseum.