The Maryville College women's basketball team dominated the first three quarters only to hold on for a thrilling 81-77 USA South victory over Covenant College in MC's Boydson Baird Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
A 60% shooting effort in the first quarter (9-for-15) including a 4-for-7 effort from beyond the arc allowed Maryville to bank a commanding 27-11 first-period advantage.
Maryville extended their lead to 20 at the half after the host Scots went 6-for-11 (55%) from the floor and 2-for-2 from long distance.
In the third quarter, Covenant kept pace with Joanna Smith posting 10 points and six rebounds while finding their shooting touch at a 42% pace (10-for-24). MC's Klaire Varney tallied seven points while Kelley Wandell and Shelby Hix combined for 10 points in the paint. Maryville took a 17-point lead into the final period.
As Maryville went cold to close out the challenge with a 4-for-15 shooting effort (26%), Covenant closed with a 24-point surge shooting 64% (9-for-14) from the floor. Kaley Hallmark, Joanna Smith, and Hannah Monday rallied the Scots for the come-from-behind effort with six points each.
A Hannah Monday layup with 42-seconds remaining made the score 79-77. Maryville's Libby Gardner sank a pair of free throws to put MC up by four before a Klaire Varney steal in the final seconds clinched the victory for Maryville.
Covenant (8-15, 6-9 USA South) was paced by Joanna Smith's 24-point, 14-rebound double-double. Hannah Monday dropped 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting off the bench while Bekah Walter and Taylor Robinson added 14 and 10 points respectively.
Maryville (12-12, 10-5 USA South) had four players finish with double-digit scoring. Klaire Varney went 7-for-11 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe for 23 points. Varney added a team-high nine rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Libby Gardner added 20 points while going 7-for-10 from the free throw line. Kelley Wandell was strong in the post with 13 points and eight boards. Shelby Hix was a standout off the bench with 11 points going 4-for-8 from the floor. The host Scots finished 26-for-56 (46%) from the floor that included a 9-of-20 success rate from long distance.
Maryville will close out their regular season on Saturday when they host Piedmont College. Before the scheduled noon start, Head Coach Darrin Travillian will honor his three seniors for their outstanding careers in the orange and garnet.