JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's (5-0, 1-0 SAC) men's hoops team will try to dial back the clock 25 years and start a season 6-0 for the first time since 1987. The Eagles hit the road for a SAC showdown with Lenoir-Rhyne (4-1, 0-1 SAC).
The Eagles rolled the last time out in a 19-point win over Brevard, while the Bears fell in their SAC opener, 69-65 to Anderson. L-R had to withstand a 63 percent shooting night from the Trojans.
"We realize going to Hickory if a very tough challenge," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "In all likelihood it'll be the toughest challenge we've faced to date. We've got to go into this game focused on the things that we can control."
The Bears beat C-N twice last season, 66-60 and 72-60. The Bears are led by All-SAC performer Denzel Dillingham – the league's third leading scorer at 17.8 points/game.
"He's a great scorer who can drive and shoot the three," Benson said. "He's very versatile, but the thing with them is that they've got such a balance philosophically that they take high percentage shots."
Carson-Newman counters with the league's leading scorer Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.), who averages 20.6 a game, and the conference's fourth best scorer in Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.), who pours in 17.6 per contest.
Those two and the rest of the Eagles will have to contend with a slow-it-down style the Bears play.
"They'll grind it and try to get you in a half court," Benson said. "In the half court, they want to really pound it inside and take it at you as best they can."
The Bears allow 58 points a game – the second lowest tally in the SAC behind LMU.
Carson-Newman and L-R tip at 6 p.m. from Shuford Gym. Pregame coverage begins on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network at 5:45 p.m. on 106.3 ESPN Radio The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com.