JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman Eagles men's basketball team pushed the East Tennessee State Buccaneers to the limit in a 71-63 exhibition loss at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center on Saturday evening.
The Eagles, who trailed by as much as 18 points in the second half, rallied back to trail 65-63 with 38 seconds remaining in the contest before the Bucs finished the contest with a six-point run to win by eight.
Carson-Newman was led in scoring by junior forwards O'Dell Parker (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Cody Henegar (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) who both scored 16 points and keyed the Eagles' second half surge. Parker scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, playing a key role in a second half run that put the Eagles back in the game.
Henegar hit seven of eight shots from the field, and made two clutch three-pointers in the final minute and a half. On both threes, Henegar cut ETSU's lead from a five-point advantage to two points, with the final one cutting the score to 65-63 with fifty seconds remaining.
After Henegar's three and a timeout, the Buccaneers responded with a three-pointer from Marcus Dubose to build back a five-point lead with 31 seconds to play. ETSU's Lester Walker made the necessary free throws for the Bucs to pull away with the 71-63 victory.
The game was a low-scoring affair in the first half. After Carson-Newman had tied it at nine with just over 12 minutes left in the half, the Bucs went on a 19-2 run to build what would eventually become a 34-20 lead over the Eagles at halftime.
Carson-Newman shot only 24 percent from the field in the first half, and ETSU opened the second half strong to eventually build the lead to 18 points with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Parker powered Carson-Newman's next run, where the Eagles outscored the Buccaneers 16-1 as Parker collected nine of Carson-Newman's 16 points during that stretch to get the Eagles to within one point with 4:34 left. The Eagles would shoot 39 percent from the field in the second half, with Henegar accounting for two of Carson-Newman's four three-pointers in the second period.
Preseason All-SAC selections Ish Sanders and Antoine Davis both had low scoring nights from the field. Sanders scored four points yet was did not make a field goal in nine attempts, missing seven times from behind the arc. Davis fouled out with 9:03 left in the game, scoring eight points while grabbing four rebounds.
ETSU was led in scoring by Sheldon Cooley's 12 points, and Carson-Newman limited the Bucs to shooting just over 33 percent in the second half.
The Eagles will next play on Monday Nov. 5 in their final exhibition of the year against Appalachian State. Tipoff from Boone, N.C. Fans can listen to the contest on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the Farm Bureau Countdown to Tipoff.