Maryville College opened up the 2016-17 season on Wednesday night, as the Scots toppled the Colonels of Centre College, 74-70, in historic Boydson Baird Gymnasium.
The Scots helped Head Coach Randy Lambert to his 660th career victory in the Orange and Garnet with Wednesday's win.
"I think it's one of the first times that we've been Centre back-to-back in like 12 years," Lambert said. "Anytime you can beat a team like Centre, you feel good about it. It was a typical first game. Both teams had their moments. Both teams made almost some ridiculous plays, but both teams made good plays when they needed too. I am very proud of my guys."
Maryville offset a 52.6 percent night at the charity stripe with net-scalding 12 treys. The Scots had a 40-percent night from beyond the arc, as Emanuelle Garcia led the way for four. Calvin Songster had a strong return with three, while senior Tyler Spicer added a trio of his own. Jay Bowyer and Emier Bowman each had one.
Those 12 treys proved crucial in a game that saw 12 lead changes and two ties between the well-known opponents.
Midway through the first half, Centre went on a 15-3 run to earn an 11-point advantage. Jacob Bates tallied a jump shot with 6:37 left to give the Colonels a 29-18 lead.
Maryville would turn up the heat, however, as they put together a 14-0 run of their own. Chris Watson tallied four point in the run off a jumper and a turnaround dunk, while Garcia and Songster each added a long ball. Maryville held a 32-29 lead after the run, before they took a 36-32 advantage to the break.
With 12:43 left in the second half, Centre took a 46-44 lead behind Bailey Rakes 3-pointer. Bowman and Boywer each followed a lay-in with a 3-point basket, as MC took a 10-0 run. Tucker Sine and Rakes would stop the run with a jump shot and a trey, as Maryville led 54-51 with 10:03.
In the final 10 minutes, Maryville would toss down four more 3-point baskets, while going 6-for-8 down the stretch at the free-throw line to secure the win.
The Scots were led by Bowyer who tallied 15 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Garcia had 12 points with four steals and four treys, while Songster had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. Watson – a sophomore that saw 18 minutes all of last season – totaled a near double-double, as he led Maryville with seven rebounds.
Watson shot 4-of-5 from the floor, 2-of-2 from the free-throw line, as he had 10 points.
"I was very proud of two other sophomores that played well, but don't get a lot of attention," Lambert said. "Chris Watson was our leading rebounder with 12 points. It was a positional move. We moved him from the four to the five, and he gave us great minutes there. We knew he was capable of doing it. I Kaleb Estes came in when Jay was struggling a little bit, and he played nice defense and made a big shot there for us. He took care of the ball for us at the point guard position."
For Centre (0-1), it was all Perry Ayers. He had 17 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Sine had 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while Jacob Bates had 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
The Colonels shot 42.6 percent from the floor (26-of-61), while hitting eight treys at a 38.1 percent clip. They went 10-of-14 at the free-throw line.
Maryville will travel to Randolph College for the first meeting between the two schools on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. They return home on Wednesday, Nov. 23 for a 3 p.m. tip against Emory & Henry College.