No. 21 Lady Eagles To Face Lenoir-Rhyne in SAC Showdown
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman is
ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division II for the second week in a row and
will put its 18-3 record to the test Wednesday when the Lady Eagles
travel to Hickory, N.C., to take on the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne
(15-6). The South Atlantic Conference matchup will feature two of
the top three teams in the league with regular season and
postseason implications on the line. L-R is tied for first in the
SAC with Newberry at 8-3 while C-N is one-half game behind at
“We’ve all seemed to knock each other around at the top of the league,” said Head Coach Dean Walsh. “I would like to go down there and return the favor to L-R since they beat us here at home, but we have to play better to have a shot at beating them. This is a must-win from the standpoint of our goals to win the conference title.”
The Lady Eagles enter the contest winners of their last two contests including an 86-76 league victory over Mars Hill at Holt Fieldhouse on Saturday. Senior guard Ashley Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.) had 12 points on the night to make her the 15th player in Carson-Newman history to reach the 1000-point milestone.
Lenoir-Rhyne is 2-2 since knocking off the then-No. 8 Lady Eagles on Jan. 23 but has momentum from a 69-57 win over Newberry at home on Saturday. The Bears led by as much as 20 in the victory and were led by senior guard Amber Holt (Charlotte, N.C.) who tallied 21 points, five assists and four rebounds. Holt was named SAC Player of the Week on Monday for her efforts.
“We have to play better on the perimeter. If we do that I like our chances,” continued Walsh.
C-N will have to contend with a strong backcourt in Lenoir-Rhyne, but the Lady Eagles’ athleticism in the post will give them an advantage over the Bears. Senior forward Shari Buford (Hampton, Ga.) has tallied five-straight double-doubles and 13 on the season for a 12.5 point and 10.7 rebound average per game.
“We can’t afford to lose from here on out,” concluded Walsh. “From a conference title standpoint and a regional seeding standpoint we are approaching every game as a must-win.”
Tipoff for Wednesday’s game is at 6:00 p.m., at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium. The contest will be broadcast on AM 1300 WMTN out of Morristown and can be heard via the Internet by visiting www.wmtn.com.