No. 13 Lady Eagles To Face Mars Hill Saturday In SAC Action
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The 13th-ranked
Carson-Newman women’s basketball team will take to the road
for the eighth time in nine games Saturday when it faces Mars Hill
in South Atlantic Conference action at Stanford Arena. The contest,
which is set for 2:00 p.m., will be broadcast on WMTN AM 1300 out
The Lady Eagles are 12-0 on the year with a 2-0 mark in SAC play while Mars Hill has a 4-9 record and is 1-1 in the league. C-N is off to its best start in school history and in search of its first conference regular season title since the 1997-98 season.
“I think we are in this for the long run,” said senior guard Ashley Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.). “If we were going to be complacent with what we have accomplished, it would have already happened. We are a more complete team than in years past but we still have to come to play every night because anybody can beat anybody in our conference.”
The Lady Eagles moved up nine places to No. 13 in the WBCA USA TODAY/ESPN Division II Coaches’ Poll this week, the largest jump of any ranked team. C-N was ranked 12th during the 2005-06 season, its highest-ever ranking.
“I am pleased with our effort and our defense as it continues to be a consistent staple of our team thus far. We are working to get even better in these aspects as well,” said Head Coach Dean Walsh, who was named the Women’s DII Bulletin Coach of the Month for December. “Our perimeter game is finally getting better as we are working daily on offense and shooting and have implemented some new drills in order to get better mentally. The kids are responding well and are eager to get better; it’s showed the past three games as we have shot 18-for-39 from three.”
Carson-Newman, which is averaging 77.3 points per game and is ranked 25th in NCAA Division II in scoring, must contend with a high-powered Mars Hill offense that is averaging over 80 points per contest at home. The Lady Eagles are also 24th in scoring margin as they outscore their opponents by 16.7 points per game. C-N is listed in the top ten in three other categories as they are fifth in turnover margin (+8.83), eighth in steals (15.0) and ninth in blocks (5.4) per game.
“They are very good shooters and scorers, especially at home,” continued Walsh. “We know we can’t shut down Brittany Young but we have to contain her to slow her down their offense and communicate defensively.”
Mars Hill’s Young is second in the league with 21.1 points per outing. C-N junior guard Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) is averaging 15.4 points per game while Kyle is posting 14.0 points per contest which is seventh and ninth in the SAC.
Senior forward Shari Buford (Hampton, Ga.) is fifth in the land in blocks per game at 2.9 while she is 20th in rebounds with 10.2. Buford is also averaging 12.0 points per contest.
“We’ve talked about our season being made up of 27 individual seasons and each one is separate from the last. Our focus is now on season 13 and beating Mars Hill," said Walsh.