Eagles Cruise Past Lees-McRae, 76-57
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Senior forward Darron Maxtion
(Huntsville, Ala.) tallied a game-high 23 points and freshman
forward Collin Crane (Knoxville, Tenn.) netted a career-high 13
points to lead the Carson-Newman men’s basketball team to a
76-57 victory over Lees-McRae on Wednesday afternoon at Holt
With the win, the Eagles improve to 5-5 on the season, while Lees-McRae falls to 1-7.
“I was really pleased with the win,” C-N head coach Dale Clayton said. “I thought what we saw on the floor resembled how we practiced in the last two practices, and that was really good to see. We took everything from practice and carried it over to the game.”
Maxtion, who has combined to score 52 points in his last two outings, was 10-of-12 from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Eagles.
Junior guard Erwin Staten (Huntsville, Ala.) chipped in nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from behind the arc in his first action of the season after missing the first nine games with a fractured foot. Junior center Brandon Evans (Salem, Va.) was a force in the paint with seven points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
“He plays hard,” Clayton said of Evans. “His strength is blocking shots and rebounding. He kept them from getting a lot of baskets around the goal, and I thought that was a big factor.”
Daniel Sepokas and Stephen Haymer tossed in 11 and 10 points, respectively, to pace the Bobcats.
C-N shot 53.4 percent (31-of-58) for the game, including 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from 3-point range. Lees-McRae connected on just 32.8 percent (20-of-61) of its shots.
The Eagles held a 43-38 lead at the break after sophomore guard Michael Nicolo (Englewood, Tenn.) beat the buzzer with a layup.
C-N stepped up its defensive pressure in the second half, holding the Bobcats to 19 points. The Eagles went on an 18-7 run to build a 61-45 lead on a layup by Maxtion with 7:15 left in the contest.
The Eagles never allowed Lees-McRae to trim their lead below 12 points and led by as many as 20 points late in the half.
C-N held the Bobcats to just 20 percent (5-of-25) shooting during the final 20 minutes.
“The zone (defense) really helped us,” Clayton said. “The adjustment at halftime was to stop the penetration against the zone, especially from the top. Once we did that, then they didn’t really have any options. The guys did a great job in the zone.”
The Eagles return to South Atlantic Conference play on Saturday afternoon against Newberry. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at Holt Fieldhouse. All children ages 12 and under will receive free admission to the game.