Depew, Williams lift Lady Eagles past L-R in SAC Tournament, 82-75
With the win, Carson-Newman advances to face top-seeded Wingate on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in Hickory, N.C. The Lady Eagles play in the first semifinal at Catawba Valley Community College.
After a season of struggles on the road, the Lady Eagles broke through in the postseason to earn a return trip to Hickory on Saturday. It also marks the second straight year C-N has won at L-R in the opening round.
"Tonight's win duplicates what we did last year," Mincey said after the game. "It's big for us to pull off the upset on road, which is hard to do, and even harder after struggling here two and half weeks ago. We're fortunate to survive and advance and we're excited about facing Wingate on Saturday."
Depew hit a trio of three-pointers in the final four minutes to rally the Lady Eagles from a 60-57 deficit with 4:15 to play. None were bigger than the sophomore's jumper in the game's final seconds to send the game to overtime.
"Shannon came through for us," Mincey added. "She made a big runner late in regulation for us. The we ran her off a triple screen in the final seconds and she made a good look."
Williams took control in overtime. The senior forward scored five-straight points as C-N moved ahead, 73-70, at the three minute mark in the extra period. An old-fashioned three point play capped her dominant stretch and gave C-N the lead for good.
"(Zoriah) came alive there late," Mincey said of his senior forward. "She had a big run out in overtime and fought hard for an 'and one' to help put it away."
After a pair of missed L-R free throws, senior guard Megan Hunter (Ashland City, Tenn.) knocked down a three-pointer with 1:19 left to play in overtime to give C-N a 76-70 lead, its largest of the game.
A put back by Williams and 4-of-4 at the free throw line in the final minute sealed the win.
C-N enjoyed its best three-point shooting night of the year. The Lady Eagles made a season-high 10 three-pointers (10-of-18) and shot 56 percent from beyond the arch.
Depew led the way with 21 points and made 5-of-8 three-point attempts. She also had five rebounds.
Williams also had 21 points and passed Data Caldwell and Ashley Kyle on C-N's all-time scoring list to move to ninth with 1,146 career points.
Hunter was a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range and had a career high 15 points, while forward Courdne Miles (Burlington, N.C.) added a very effective 10 points and seven rebounds to give C-N four players in double figures.
L-R's Cameron Sealey led all scorers with 24 points. She was 7-of-20 from the floor. Whitney Culler added 17 for the Bears.
Carson-Newman overcame 11 first-half turnovers to keep things close through the opening half.
The Lady Eagles made 5-of-9 three-point field goals in the half to overcome the miscues. Hunter was 2-for-2 and Depew connected on her only attempt as C-N rallied cut an eight-point deficit in half just before the break.
L-R was 11-of-11 at the free throw line in the first half, taking advantage of eight C-N fouls.
Up Next: Carson-Newman faces Wingate University on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the first women's semifinal. Wingate held off Anderson (S.C.) at home on Wednesday night, 64-58. C-N and Wingate met twice in the regular season. The two teams split the season series with the home team winning each meeting. Wingate won, 73-54, on Dec. 1 in Wingate, N.C., while C-N took the Feb. 4, meeting in Jefferson City, 71-66, holding on to a 37-19 halftime lead.