Eagles secure first 4-0 start since 1998 with 93-60 win over Hiwassee

Eagles secure first 4-0 start since 1998 with 93-60 win over Hiwassee


JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (4-0) started slow, trailing Hiwassee (2-7) by as many as five in the first half.  But the Eagles ripped out the gates in the second stanza, going on a 17-4 lead to take a double digit lead C-N would not relinquish in a 93-60 victory in the Eagles' home opener at Holt Fieldhouse Wednesday night. 

The 4-0 start is Carson-Newman's first since 1998 when the Eagles began the year with wins over Armstrong Atlantic, Lees-McRae, LMU and Augusta State. 

"I hate to think that out of four games we've come out a little flat in two of them," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "We challenged them at the half and they responded to that, but it really was a tale of two halves."

Two Carson-Newman players either set or matched their career highs in points in the win.

Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) paced Carson-Newman with 27, coming within two points of his career high from a November 2011 game against Cincinnati Christian.   

Corbin Jackson (Rutledge, Fla.) threw down 15 – a new career best by two points – to go along with 12 boards for his third career double-double and first of the 2012-2013 campaign.  Jackson's double-double is the third of the year for Carson-Newman as a team.  The Eagles had six double-doubles in all of the 2011-2012 campaign.

Jackson helped C-N to a 37-14 advantage in points in the paint.

"We've made a big issue of going inside," Benson said. "We knew coming in we could have more of an inside presence.  This year we've got Corbin that helps give us that presence, we got him the ball and he capitalized."

Collin Crane (Knoxville, Tenn.) was the other Eagle to establish a new career high.  The senior topped 14 points against the Tigers, besting a 12-point outing he had last season against Tusculum.

For the third consecutive game, Carson-Newman had four or more players finish in double digits.  Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) added 19 points for the Eagles, 12 of which came from beyond the arc. 

Sanders is 88 points away from 1,000 points in an orange and blue uniform. 

The Eagles took care of the basketball, coughing it up just eight times to the Tigers.  In turn, the Eagles forced 17 Hiwassee turnovers, turning them into 23 points. 

Carson-Newman had a 19 assist performance as a team, with five players contributing three or more helpers.  Marcellous Perez (Jacksonville, N.C.) Crane and Davis all tied for the team high with four a piece. 

"We're playing unselfish basketball," Benson said. "When I look at 20 assists to eight turnovers, that means we're giving the ball up."

The Eagles led by as many as 38 points in the second half, blistering the nets from beyond the arc at a 53 percent clip (8-15). 

Carson-Newman returns home Wednesday, Nov. 28, for its first conference contest against the Brevard Tornados.  That game is a part of a double-header with the Carson-Newman's women's basketball.  The women tip at 6 p.m., while the men are slated for an 8 p.m. start.  Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network.  

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