JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (17-4, 10-3 South Atlantic Conference) used a 36-13 run to break open a one-point first half lead and never look back in a 91-59 win over Mars Hill (3-18, 0-13 SAC) Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse. The win is C-N's sixth consecutive, giving C-N its longest win streak since capturing eight in a row late in the 2003-2004 season.
The Eagles turned a 17-16 lead with eight minutes left in the half into a 53-29 advantage four minutes into the first half.
"I thought the sheer fact that we didn't make shots early affected our outlook on life a little bit," Carson-Newman head coach Chuck Benson said after his Eagles made just three of their first 14 shots. "It took us a while to get through that, but thankfully we did."
Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) – garbed in pink socks on Play for Kay for breast cancer awareness - turned in a season high 28-point performance, while Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) put up his first double-double of the season and third of his career behind a 17-point, career-high 12-rebound effort. Sanders 28-point outburst equaled Cody Henegar's (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) performance against the Lions in the first meeting between the schools.
Sanders' point total tied Henegar for the second highest by an Eagle this season and marked the ninth time this year a C-N player had surpassed 25 points. Davis' double-double was the first for C-N since Corbin Jackson (Rutledge, Fla.) went for 15 points and 12 boards against Hiwassee.
"Those guys time and again have made shots for us," Benson said. "It was not a question of if, but a matter of when. We knew they'd pick it up and they certainly did."
The Eagles dialed up the defensive pressure around the eight minute mark in the first half when the run started. Carson-Newman forced 21 turnovers – 14 of them steals – and converted them to 36 points.
The Eagles scored off 18 of the Lions' 21 giveaways.
"We made an emphasis of trying to trap and get deflections and turn them into points," Benson said. "That part of our scouting report, our guys did a good job of bringing to the game."
Carson-Newman held nightly double-double machine Khourachi Thiam to three points and 12 rebounds. The senior from Senegal went 1-for-12 from the field and didn't have an offensive rebound.
The Eagles hit the road for the first time in three games to take on Newberry Saturday. The Eagles beat the Wolves in the first meeting this season. Tip time is slated for 4 p.m. Coverage on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network begins at 3:45 p.m. with the Farm Bureau Countdown to Tipoff on 106.3 ESPN Radio The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com.