Eagle' defense stifles No. 5 LMU in upset, 64-61

Eagle' defense stifles No. 5 LMU in upset, 64-61

HARROGATE, TN – Freshman Jared Johnson scored 17 points and sophomore Antoine Davis added 16 as the Carson-Newman Eagles snapped No. 5 Lincoln Memorial's 30-game home win streak with a 64-61 win in Tex Turner Arena on Wednesday night.

The Eagles officially blocked eight shots and held LMU to 24 points below its season average to improve to 11-8 on the year and 4-5 in South Atlantic Conference play. LMU falls to 17-2 and 7-2 in league play.

Davis and freshman Corbin Jackson each blocked four shots to lead a resilient Eagle defense. C-N held LMU to 2-of-13 from three-point range, extending its zone defense and frustrating the high-scoring LMU offense.

The Railsplitters were led by Vincent Bailey's 14 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Desmond Johnson notched a double-double performance with ten points and ten rebounds off the bench. Brandon Armstrong added eight points in the effort.

Following a 3-3 tie to begin the game, Justin Allen's breakaway dunk put the Railsplitters on top with 17:34 left on the clock. LMU would hold the left for most of the half as they would run out to a 15-7 lead with 14:21 remaining in the half.

Lorenza Ross put the Railsplitters on top 21-14 with 8:41 left before the Eagles ran off a 5-0 run to cut into the deficit. With 4:22 until the break, Jared Johnson tied the game at 24 apiece. Antoine Davis followed that with a jumper which put Carson-Newman on top. At the break, the Eagles had established a 35-31 lead. It was the first time all season the Railsplitters had trailed at the half.

Lincoln Memorial opened the second half with a flurry as they tied the game at 37-37 with a jumper by Desmond Johnson. At 10:45, Wally Jones gave the Railsplitters a 47-41 lead as they looked to pull away in the contest.

The Eagles continued to hang tight as they grabbed a 53-51 lead with a jumper by Johnson at the 5:54 mark. With the game tied at 57-57 with 3:48 remaining, the Eagles grabbed a three point lead with three consecutive free throws.

Carson-Newman held a 63-58 lead following two free throws by Ishmael Sanders with ten seconds remaining. Brandon Armstrong was fouled on his three-point attempt with six seconds on the clock which sent him to the line. Armstrong nailed all three freebies forcing the Railsplitters to foul.

Sanders went to the line with five ticks left on the clock. Sanders made the first and missed the second giving LMU the opportunity to tie. CJ Wakeley's long distance heave fell short as time expired.

C-N overcame 18 LMU offensive rebounds with the eight blocks and by capitalizing at the free throw line. C-N made 18-of-24 free throws.

Collin Crane added seven points including a key three to tie the game at 51-51 with just over eight minutes to play. He also had a steal and helped frustrate LMU's Cam Carden into a two-point night.

Carson-Newman returns to action on Saturday against Catawba. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. in Salisbury, N.C.