JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (19-5, 12-4 South Atlantic Conference) used suffocating defense and hot shooting from two juniors to pull out a stunning 92-55 win over Anderson (16-8, 12-4 SAC) Saturday at Holt Fieldhouse.
The win drops Anderson out of first in the league standings and into a tie with Carson-Newman for third place.
Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) had a record-setting performance in the contest. The junior canned 9-of-18 threes – two off the single game record that Sanders set in his freshman season by hitting 11 against Mars Hill – to reset the single season record for made threes with 92. Sanders finished with a season best 33.
Calvin Owens (2001-02) was the previous record holder with 86. Sanders also moved up on the all-time scoring list at C-N. He now sits in ninth place with 1,325 after moving past Dustin Edwards and Leon Williams and their 1,311 points.
Sanders has scored 25 points or more in four consecutive games.
"You saw the shots he takes, he knows he has the green light," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "We weren't doing anything really. I mean we were setting some screens for him. But all his shots come with great defensive pressure; he just has a knack for getting a little separation. And when he has that little separation, that ball's going up, and when it goes up, it usually goes in."
Carson-Newman used a 14-0 run in the first half to turn a 17-16 Anderson lead into a 30-17 Eagle advantage with 8:11 in the first half following a Brandon Kelley (Nashville, Tenn.) drop step layup from the right block. Anderson would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) poured in 26 on 10-for-15 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 from deep.
The game was Davis' 11th with more than 20 points and sixth with more than 25 this year.
The Eagles took an 11-point lead into the locker room and turned that advantage into a 29-point edge with 11:11 left in the game thanks to a 24-6 spurt.
"Our kids never quit or relented," Benson said. "Our guys had such determination and a will to produce, that's the bottom line. This win is about our kids and their commitment to doing what they said they wanted to do this evening."
The Eagles clamped down on two All-SAC candidates in the Trojans' Denzail Jones and Chandler Hash. Hash had 11 in the first half before the Eagles held him to a four-point second half to finish with 15. Preseason SAC player of the year Jones scored 11 – nearly half his average – after a 2-for-14 shooting effort.
C-N held Anderson to 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) shooting for the second half while the Eagles set the nets on fire hitting 17 of their 29 second half shots (58.6 percent) and eight of their 14 threes (57.1 percent).
The margin of victory had Benson a bit stunned.
"When you consider that Anderson is one of the better respected teams in our region this season, and Jason Taylor is one of the better coaches in the country," Benson said. "This win is up there with our best this season."
Carson-Newman hits I-40 for its final road contest. The Eagles travel to Catawba Wednesday. Tip is slated for 8 p.m. and pregame coverage begins at 7:45 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network on ESPN Radio 106.3 The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com.