No. 21 Carson-Newman Downs Mars Hill, 86-76, Behind Ashley Kyles Milestone Night
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The No. 21 Lady
Eagles got back on the winning track in South Atlantic Conference
play Saturday evening as Carson-Newman (18-3, 7-3 SAC) defeated
Mars Hill, 86-76, at Holt Fieldhouse. The victory was the first in
league play for C-N since it defeated Brevard, 114-64, on Jan.
“There were a lot of positives tonight,” said ninth-year Head Coach Dean Walsh. “The tempo was where we wanted it and that’s two straight games the tempo has been there. We were aggressive on the boards and did a great job distributing the ball. We forced a team that doesn’t commit a lot of turnovers into 24 turnovers tonight.”
Senior guard Ashley Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.) became the 15th player in Carson-Newman history to reach the 1000-point mark as she had 12 points and five assists on the night.
“Ashley deserves 1000 points,” commented Walsh. “After her first two years you wouldn’t think that she would have ever come close. She has put in so much heart and effort. She plays through pain, she’s determined and she can be a little stubborn at times, but that’s what makes her the player she is. I’m tickled to death and glad that she’s on our team.”
Mars Hill got out to a 4-0 lead before Carson-Newman went on a 16-5 run over a 3:49 span to take a 16-9 advantage. The Lady Eagles would go up by as much as 11 before the break. C-N would take a 36-30 lead into the locker room.
After the intermission, the two teams battled back and forth before the Lady Eagles went on a 6-0 run to take a 52-40 lead. A three-pointer by freshman forward Tasha Phillips (Clarkrange, Tenn.) at the 8:16 mark gave Carson-Newman a 17-point advantage (67-50).
Kyle would etch her name in the record books with 6:52 left in the contest as she hit her signature jumper from the left elbow.
Though Mars Hill was able to cut the lead to eight with 29 seconds to play, the Lady Eagles hit two free throws to push the final margin back to double digits.
Phillips led C-N with 14 points and 10 rebounds, both career-highs, for her first collegiate double-double. Senior forward Shari Buford (Hampton, Ga.) had 12 points and 11 rebounds for her 10th double-double in 13 games.
“Tasha Phillips was unbelievable. She did a tremendous job for the second game in a row,” continued Walsh.
Junior guard Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) had 10 points while sophomore forward Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) pulled down 10 boards.
Mars Hill junior Brittini Young (Ramseur, N.C.) led all scorers with an impressive 34 points including a 13-for-15 mark from the free throw line while sophomore Taylor Deal (Catawba, N.C.) had 16 points and eight rebounds of her own.
“We shot almost 53 percent in the second half, and I’m really pleased with that,” added Walsh. “This is a good stepping stone. We will use this to build up to face a good Lenoir-Rhyne team on Wednesday.”
Carson-Newman will travel to Hickory, N.C., on Wednesday to face the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne. Tipoff for the contest is set for 6:00 p.m., at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
-Joe Matthews, C-N Sports Information