JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Carson-Newman guard Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) took over the top of the table as the Eagles' all-time leading scorer of the Division II-era (1992-present) with a 23-point effort in C-N's 98-70 nonconference home win over Lees-McRae.
Sanders passes All-American Kyle Gribble (1999-2003). Sanders has 1,487 points for his career, Gribble sits at 1,472. Sanders moves into seventh place on the all-time scoring list. Raymond Lettsome (1983-85) sits in sixth place with 1,735 points.
"He has mean so much to this program," C-N head coach Chuck Benson said. "We're thankful that he was able to attain that record and it means that much more knowing the caliber of player he passed in Kyle Gribble."
The Eagles outscored the Bobcats 56-13 over a 20-minute stretch spanning the 16-minute mark of the first half to the 16-minute mark of the second half. During that stretch, the Eagles forced 12 LMC turnovers and worked them into 22 points. The Eagles' lead ballooned to 39 with 16:25 left in the second half following a Davis' and-one.
"This score is not indicative of what Lees-McRae is capable of," Benson said. "We came back from Mars Hill and had some very intense meetings to iron out some things that we weren't pleased with. I'm thankful our guys responded to come out in such a way that we were able to come out with confidence and purpose to propel us to the win."
Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) led the Eagles with a game and season-high 28 points. It marks the fourth time in the last five games that Davis has crested the 20-point mark. Sanders contributed seven assists in addition to his 23 points. He and Davis had 17 and 20 points, respectively at halftime on a combined eight-for-14 shooting from three-point land.
Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) turned in the first double-double performance of his career and Carson-Newman's season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The 11 boards match Rogers' career high, which he set last year in a home win over Newberry. Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed suit with a 10-point, eight-rebound day. Brooks' eight boards match his career high from the Eagles' overtime win at Brevard last season.
"We made a big deal about our rebounding," Benson said. "I could tell the first possession when Josh was above rim level, I knew we were in for a good one. And Carson did a good job staying poised through foul trouble."
All but three players on Carson-Newman's 13-man roster scored.
The Eagles held Lees-McRae to 36 percent shooting in the first half as they built their insurmountable lead, including one-for-seven shooting by the Bobcats from deep. Meanwhile, the Eagles buried eight first half threes, all from Sanders and Davis.
Carson-Newman limited Lees-McRae's leading scorer Mike Chambers to 13 points – four below his average – on an inefficient three-of-11 shooting. Rishad Felton joined Chambers in double figures with 11, canning three second-half three pointers.
For the second time this season, Carson-Newman won the battle of the boards, outrebounding LMC 40-31.
The Eagles return home and to conference play Saturday versus Catawba. Tipoff between the Eagles and Indians is slated for 4 p.m., pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 3:45 p.m. with the Countdown to Tipoff on 106.3 ESPN Radio The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.