Eagles fall at Mars Hill in overtime, 96-93
MARS HILL, N.C.— After battling Carson-Newman to a standstill for 40 minutes, Mars Hill had just enough left in the tank to earn the 96-93 overtime victory over the Eagles at Stanford Arena Wednesday night. Mars Hill improved to 5-19 overall, 3-12 in SAC play with the victory. Carson-Newman fell to 14-11 overall, 7-8 in SAC play.
Mars Hill connected on 5-of-8 field goals and came up with just enough stops in overtime to earn the victory. Sammy Emile paced the Lions with 31 points, six of which came in overtime. Khouraichi Thiam added a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Terrell Harris filled up the stat sheet with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Carson-Newman was led by Ishmael Sanders with 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Marcellous Perez added 23 points and six assists, while Elliott Pope added 18 points and swished all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.
After entering overtime tied at 81-apiece, the Lions grabbed the first five points of the extra stanza on an Emile three and a steal-and-dunk by Emile. After the Eagles closed the score to 86-85, JaShawn Anderson drained his only three of the night to put the Lions back up by four. A free throw by Anderson and a lay-up by Thiam off a nice pass by Harris pushed the lead to 92-86. Four of Anderson's six points came in the overtime period.
The Eagles cut the Lion lead back to one on a three by Pope and lay-in by Perez, by Thiam followed a missed three to make it 94-91 with 44 seconds remaining in overtime. At the other end, Thiam swooped in for a clutch block to preserve the lead. Emile sank a free throw at the other end, and Perez answered with a lay-up to keep the Eagles within a possession, 95-93. Noble Cunningham then sank a free throw with 9 seconds left, and Austin Patton came away with a steal as time expired to preserve the win. It was the last of the 13 steals the Lions came away with on the night.
A game of runs in the second half set up the big finish. Trailing 50-40, the Eagles unleashed an 18-2 barrage to take 58-52 lead with 12:25 to play. The Lions later counterpunched with a 10-2 run to take a 65-63 lead on a Thiam dunk with 7:56 to play. Neither team would lead by more than four the rest of regulation. There were seven ties and 10 lead changes in the game.
Late-game heroics by Emile and Harris helped force overtime. Trailing 80-76 with 47 seconds left, Emile drove the lane and hit a circus shot in traffic, drawing the foul and converting the free throw to cut the Eagle lead to one. After Perez split a pair of free throws, Harris put back a rebound off an Anderson miss to tie the score and force overtime.
The Harris put-back was part of tough work on the offensive glass for the Lions, who owned a 25-12 advantage in second-chance points. Mars Hill outrebounded Carson-Newman 39-37 on the night.