Eagles race past Newberry 98-76 behind 27 points from Davis

Eagles race past Newberry 98-76 behind 27 points from Davis

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (10-2, 3-1 South Atlantic Conference) outscored Newberry (5-7, 1-3 SAC) 56-40 in the second half en route to a 98-76 thrashing of the league's top scoring offense and the nation's third best.

The Eagles held the Wolves 19 points below their 95 points per game scoring average. 

"I told our guys that I thought we beat them at their own game in terms of tempo and pace," Carson-Newman head coach Chuck Benson said. "I got to give it our kids because of their heart, determination and will that they showed."

Antoine Davis led Carson-Newman with 27 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field.  The preseason all-conference selection went 7-of-10 from three point land.  For the second consecutive contest, Davis played all 40 minutes – time on the court necessitated by a short bench. 

C-N was shorthanded for much of the game with Marcellous Perez (Jacksonville, N.C.) nursing an ankle injury, while Collin Crane (Knoxville, Tenn.) sat the second half with a leg injury after starting the game. 

That left the Eagles with seven healthy players.  As a result Ray Likely (Eustis, Fla.) and Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) each notched new season highs in minutes with 21 and 24 respectively.  

"I could not be more proud of our team, Marcellous Perez doesn't play and Collin Crane doesn't play the second half," Benson said. "That was a remarkable team performance where multiple guys gave big credible minutes and big credible plays."

The Eagles finished with four players in double figures – the ninth time this year at least three players have scored 10 or more in a game.  Carson-Newman is 8-1 in such games. 

Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) dropped 20 on the Wolves, while Cody Henegar (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) set a new career high with 14 points, with Johnson setting a new season high with his 17 points.

Newberry came into the game with six players averaging double figures.  Carson-Newman allowed three to crack double digits.  Brandon Riley grabbed the team high with 16, while C-N limited Quayshun Hawkins to a 13-point night.  Preseason first team all-conference selection Dondray Walker had seven, half of his average.

"Our defense and percentages we allowed were strong," Benson said. "I was pleased we kept their big dogs down (Walker and Hawkins).  I don't know where to start, there are just too many good things to talk about.  So many guys did things well that I'm so proud of them for that."

Carson-Newman turned a six-point, 42-36 halftime lead into a 14-point edge, but not before Riley converted on an and-one opportunity for Newberry.  That cut Carson-Newman's lead to 50-47 with 14:38 left in the game.  The Eagles would score 11 in a row, capped off by a Johnson steal and fast break layup to work the lead out to 61-47.

Newberry would get as close as 10 with 8:35 to play following a Mitch Riggs triple, but Carson-Newman would counter with another 11-0 run to take an 81-60 advantage with 6:53 to play.

"Tonight was a great reestablishment of some chemistry,"  Some of our kids, the Josh Rogers, the Brandon Kelley's can have a lot more confidence on the court when we get our depth back."

The Eagles return to the road for two consecutive games away from Mossy Creek with a game at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Mar Hill.  Pregame coverage begins 15 minutes prior to tip with the Farm Bureau Countdown to Tipoff on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network on ESPN Radio 106.3 The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com. 


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