Carson-Newman Upsets No. 8 Clayton State, 65-62, Saturday On The Road
MORROW, Ga. – Senior guard Ashley
Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.) hit three free throws with
0.4 seconds left to go in the game to give Carson-Newman (9-0) a
65-62 victory over No. 8 Clayton State (4-1) at the CSU Athletics
& Fitness Center Saturday afternoon. The win is the Lady
Eagles’ second in as many seasons over a top-10 ranked team.
C-N defeated then-No. 5 Tusculum, 90-87, on Jan. 17, 2009.
“I am so proud of this team,” said Head Coach Dean Walsh. “It was an extremely hard fought game and we continued to battle throughout. Our defense, combined with our ability to get offensive rebounds and hit clutch shots, made the difference today.”
The contest was back and forth the entire way as there were 11 ties and eight lead changes over the 40 minutes of play. Clayton State led by as much as 11 with 6:52 left before halftime but Carson-Newman went on an 11-3 run to finish the period for the 33-30 score at the intermission.
The Lady Eagles came out of the break and continued their run, outscoring the Lakers 17-8 over the first 7:47 of the second half for their largest lead of the contest at 47-41. Junior guard Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) had seven points over the course of the run.
After tying the score at 49, Clayton State traded baskets with C-N before take a 59-54 lead with just 4:32 left to play for their largest advantage of the half. The Lady Eagles responded with eight straight points, including five by Mendenhall, to go up 62-59 with 10 seconds remaining.
A three-pointer by the Lakers’ Tanisha Wood with 3.4 seconds left in the game made overtime seem imminent, but Kyle was able to get the foul with less than a second to go and sealed the victory for the Lady Eagles.
“We missed too many free throws and layups,” added Walsh. “But we held a team that normally shoots 50 percent from the floor and 39 percent from the three to 42 and 13. That shows that we were extremely aggressive defensively and I am proud of how well we did on that end of the court the entire game.”
Mendenhall led all scorers with 21 points and added four rebounds and three steals and Kyle had 14 points, six assists and five steals in addition to hitting the game-winning free throws.
Carson-Newman’s post game was paced by senior Shari Buford (Hampton, Ga.) and sophomore Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) as both players had 14 points. Buford recorded 13 rebounds while Williams had 12 boards, including eight on the offensive glass.
Clayton State’s Teshymia Tillman had 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals, but was held to seven points below her season average by the Lady Eagle defense. LaDe’Sha Stoudamire recorded 12 points and nine rebounds while Tanisha Woodard had 11 points and six boards as well for the Lakers.
Carson-Newman will break for exams before it takes on USC Aiken on the road next Saturday at 1:30 p.m.