Maryville College defeated the USA South Athletic Conference Western Division leader Covenant College on Saturday afternoon, handing the Georgian Scots only their second league loss of the season, 75-62.
Dante Hoppa exploded in the game, bucketing a career high 35 points in Lookout Mountain, Ga. The senior managed 23 first-half points, surpassing his season high of 21 in the opening 20 minutes of the game.
Hoppa's 35 is the most senior has scored since his previous career high of 28 against Emory & Henry College on Nov. 18, 2017.
With the victory, MC earns the right to host the opening round of the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night, Feb. 19. The Scots will play LaGrange College inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium. A time for the matchup has not been released.
Admission for the game is free to the first 100 MC students with a valid student I.D. Adults will be $8, while Faculty, Staff, Students, seniors and children will be $3.
Maryville got off to an early start, as Hoppa led the Scots to a 14-0 lead, as the senior knocked down a trio of treys in the first 3:10. Kaleb Estes added a trey of his own, as the Scots would extend their lead to 18-3.
Hoppa had 11 points through the first 4:30 to set the tone for the Scots early.
Maryville would ride that momentum for a 43-32 lead at the half. MC shot an impressive 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) from the floor in the first 20 minutes, as they bucketed eight treys at a 66.7 percent clip.
Hoppa had 23 of Maryville's 32 first-half points, as Estes added eight of his own.
Covenant shot 12-of-25 (48.0 percent) from the floor in the first half, while knocking down four 3-pointers at a 44.4 percent effort.
Covenant would cut the score to six in the early parts of the second half, before a 12-2 run by the Scots would extend it back to a 13-point advantage.
The Georgian Scots again cut into MC's lead at the 6:00 mark, 65-60. Maryville would end the game on another 10-2 run to move their conference record to 14-4 and earn their 18th win of the season.
Maryville (18-7, 14-4 USA South) was led by Hoppa's 35-point outing, as he added four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Hoppa went 12-of-18 from the floor, while bucketing 5-of-9 shots from beyond the arc.
Kaleb Estes added 12 points with a pair of treys, while Calvin Songster had 11 points, four rebounds and three assists. Emier Bowman had seven points, three assists, three steals, two blocks and a board, while Nick Clifton had eight rebounds, five points and three assists. Joshua Brooks added three points, while Emanuelle Garcia had two.
The Scots shot 28-of-56 (50 percent), while going bucketing 10 treys at a 47.6 percent effort. MC went 9-of-10 (90 percent) from the free-throw line, while posting 15 assists as a squad.
Covenant (17-8, 16-2) shot 49 percent on the day, going 24-of-49. They shot 36.4 percent from beyond the arc with eight total 3-pointers.
Will Crumly had a team-high 24 points and seven rebounds, as he shot 10-of-14. Bailey Spragg added 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals, while Mitchell Hollis matched him with 14 points.
The game wraps up the regular season for Maryville College, as they Scots finish ranked second within the USA South Western Division.