Carson-Newman gets past Maryville, 71-68, Wednesday On The Road
MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Carson-Newman got 10
second-half points from reigning South Atlantic Conference Player
of the Week junior guard Mandy Mendenhall
(Kingston Springs, Tenn.) and needed each one of them as the Lady
Eagles held on to defeat Maryville by a 71-68 score Wednesday
evening at Boydson Baird Gymnasium.
With the win, C-N moves to 7-0 on the year while Maryville drops to 4-2.
“The bottom line is we found a way to win and you have to be happy with that,” said Head Coach Dean Walsh. "Nobody is going to look back at how much you won by. Tonight’s the mark of a team that did what it needed to do to pull out a win. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but we’ll take it.”
The Lady Eagles got out to a 15-8 lead in the first 3:55 of the game on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Cassie Bates (Fremont, Calif.) and held a 12-point advantage at the 11:26 mark before the Lady Scots began to battle back.
“Getting out to an early lead was probably the worst thing that could have happened to us,” said Walsh. “I thought our energy tonight was probably the worst it’s been all year. Our defensive pressure was absolutely horrendous. We didn’t do what we were supposed to do to better prepare this team. We just weren’t very focused tonight.”
Maryville went on a 23-11 run over the next 10:26 to tie the contest at 35. Carson-Newman senior guard Ashley Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.) hit a jumper in the paint with just under a minute to play to give the Lady Eagles a 37-35 lead at the break.
In the second half, the two teams fought back and forth as neither side led by more than six points the entire period. Down 61-58, C-N got seven straight points from freshman forward Dominique Jackson (North Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to take a 65-61 lead.
“Dominique was big for us, and that’s what our freshmen have been doing on and off all year,” continued Walsh. "We’ve had someone step up. She was huge for us down the stretch and scored some big buckets.”
Maryville closed the gap to 69-68 with three seconds left and forced the Lady Eagles to expend a timeout trying to inbound the ball. C-N got the ball to Mendenhall and she sank two free throws with 0.8 seconds to go to seal the win for the Lady Eagles.
“Todd and that bunch did an awesome job,” added Walsh. “They wanted this game and wanted to beat us in the worst way. That’s the way you have to be every game.”
Mendenhall led C-N with 18 points including four three-point baskets and added five rebounds and three steals while sophomore forward Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) tallied 13 points and seven rebounds.
Senior forward Shari Buford (Hampton, Ga.) came up one point shy of her fourth double-double of the year with 12 boards (10 on the offensive glass) and nine points. Bates finished the contest with eight points while Kyle chipped in seven points, three steals and two assists after returning to the lineup from an illness.
Maryville’s Alison Harmon led all scorers with 25 points as she went 11-for-12 from the floor and added nine rebounds. Janell Menard registered 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals while Alicia Brown posted a game-high 10 assists and added five points for the Lady Scots.
Carson-Newman will open SAC play on Saturday when it travels to Harrogate, Tenn., to take on Lincoln Memorial in its fourth straight game away from home in a road trip that covers five weeks. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m., at Tex Turner Arena.
“We are the road warriors,” concluded Walsh. “We lost last year there. We are going to have to get ready to play. LMU is extremely athletic. We have been focusing this year to where every game is a new season and we have 27 seasons. I told them at the end of the game season seven will not be used for reruns. Let’s get ready for season eight on Saturday.”
- Joe Matthews, C-N Sports Information