JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – For the second straight year, Carson-Newman's men's basketball program has started a season 2-0. The No. 22 Eagles (2-0) notched a wire-to-wire 82-68 victory over Trevecca Nazarene (0-2) to close out the Carson-Newman Classic.
The Eagles jumped out to a 24-point lead three minutes into the second half. The Trojans were able to whittle the lead down to as little as 10, but the Eagles maintained the double digit lead for the entirety of the second half.
"It's a win. You'd rather play bad and win than play bad and lose," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "We're really stressing to our guys that it's not about the scoreboard. It's not about the opponent. It's about us. It's how we play not who we play. It's about our search for excellence."
Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) and Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) plopped in 24 and 20 points respectively, while Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) netted a career high 11 points. Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) put in 11 as well with six assists.
Sanders was six-of-10 from three point range while Davis canned five of his 13 three point attempts.
Carson-Newman shot 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from three. The Eagles scorched the nets in the first half to the tune of 15-of-30 shooting in the first half, before cooling off to shoot 40 percent in the second half.
C-N used a 7-0 run and an 8-1 run in the first half to work the lead out to 18 while playing lock down defense to hold the Trojans to 31 percent shooting from the field.
The Eagles held the Trojans leading scorer Bryan Sanford to nine points. Sanford was just three-of-11 from the field.
"He was our primary focus," Benson said about Sanford. "He leads them in scoring, free throws attempted and offensive rebounding. The number one thing we wanted to do was contain his penetration. I thought we did a pretty decent job of that."
Reserve David Woodard was the Trojans leading scorer. He had 13.
TNU outrebounded C-N 43-34, but the Eagles forced 12 turnover and scored off eight of them to dominate in points off turnovers 16-6.
The Eagles stay home Wednesday as they open up conference play against rival Tusculum at 8 p.m. Coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins at 7:45 p.m. on 106.3 ESPN Radio the Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live with the Countdown to Tipoff.