The Maryville College Scots took sole possession of first place in the USA South Athletic Conference on Saturday, after they defeated the Ferrum College Panthers, 79-66.
Maryville was helped by a Greensboro College loss to LaGrange College, 91-72, and a Methodist University loss to Piedmont College, 84-68. The Scots, Methodist, Greensboro and Averett University were all in a four-way tie for first place before Saturday, as Averett fell to Covenant College, 67-63.
Maryville now controls their own destiny with two games left this season. The Scots host Covenant College on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., before traveling to Averett on Saturday, Feb. 18 for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
"I'm so happy for our team," Head Coach Randy Lambert said. "We have a chance to win our regular season and play at home [for the conference tournament] in a week. We have two tough games next week with Covenant coming here on Wednesday night. They beat Averett, and then, we have to go to Averett. That could be game that decides the championship, but we can't overlook Covenant. If you lose that game, you don't even have a chance to play for the championship on Saturday. We just have to take it a game at a time and see what happens. The good thing is, the teams that we wanted to win, they won today. That gives us an opportunity."
The Scots earned that chance behind a thrilling 79-66 win over Ferrum on Saturday, as Maryville celebrated Tyler Spicer – the Scots' lone senior – on Senior Day.
MC sent the senior out in style, as they threw down six dunks on the day and tallied 11 total blocks on the afternoon. Emier Bowman and Colt Nokes each totaled three dunks, while Calvin Songster and Bowman added three blocks apiece.
The Scots (18-5, 8-4 USA South) jumped to a 40-26 lead at the half, before cruising that lead to the win in the second half. Maryville held their lead to 10 most of the second stanza in the win.
Nokes and Joshua Brooks led the way for Maryville, as both scored 18 points on the day. Nokes added his trio of dunks, while adding five rebounds, two blocks and an assist. Brooks tallied four assists, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal, as the sophomore guard shot 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Jay Bowyer added 11 points and a game-high five assists off the bench. The junior shot 8-of-9 at the free throw line to help Maryville.
Spicer – the senior – added eight points, six boards and an assist, while Bowman added seven points, three rebounds, three blocks, three dunks and two steals.
Emanuelle Garcia had six points, while Dante Hoppa added five points, four rebound and three assists. Chris Watson had four points, while Songster and Kaleb Estes each added a point, while Songster had four rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
Maryville shot 55.8 percent (24-of-43) for the game, while going 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc. Free throws helped the Scots, as they connected on 74.3 percent (26-of-35) of their charity tosses in the 51-foul game.
Ferrum (10-14, 5-8) shot just 35.0 percent (21-of-60) from the floor, while connecting on six treys at a 30 percent clip. They tallied 18-of-32 at the free throw line, which was good enough for 56.3 percent.
Josh Grmiard led the Panthers as the only double-digit scorer, as he had 12 points, five boards and a steal. Josh Dudley and Jovon Miller each had nine points, while Dudley had a game-high 10 rebounds. R.J. Turner and D.J. Christian each had eight points for Ferrum.