GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Powered by career-highs from senior Reid Burke (Nashville, Tenn.) and junior Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom), the Carson-Newman men's basketball team picked up its first win of the season with a 73-68 road win over rival Tusculum at Pioneer Arena.
Burke notched 10 points, besting his eight point performance last Friday against Barton, and Roger's 15 points, which was one point higher than his 14 point total last season against Catawba, propelled to the Eagles.
Burke also led the team with a career-high seven rebounds in the winning performance.
After missing the first two games of the season with an injury, senior Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) led Carson-Newman with 23 points.
"I think a lot of credit goes to Reid Burke and Josh Rogers. I thought those guys really stepped up late there," coach Chuck Benson said after his team's South Atlantic Conference game of the season. "I thought Reid and Josh in particular, really that second half, were the difference."
After a back-and-forth affair that gave Tusculum a 9-8 lead with 15:42 left in the first half, the Eagles went on a 33-14 run over the span of 10 minutes that was capped off by a Burke three-pointer to put the score at 41-23. The Pioneers coasted into the halftime break on an 11-4 run to give the C-N a 45-34 lead at the half.
Tusculum continued its run into the second half using stout defense. Carson-Newman did not score its 10th point of the half until Johnson's lay-up with 8:02 left in the ballgame to tie the score at 55-55.
A three-pointer by Tusculum Javon Price with 10:05 left in the game gave the Pioneers a 55-52 lead, their first lead since the 16:05 mark of the first half.
The Eagles outscored Tusculum 20-15 in the last nine minutes to give them the 73-68 advantage at the final buzzer.
Junior Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) contributed nine points and pulled down six rebounds. Tusculum was led by Price's 15 points and center Chase Mounce contributed 14 points for the Pioneers.
"This is my fifth year being the head coach here and this is the best atmosphere I've seen in this game since I've been here. It was a great atmosphere," Benson said. "I thought our guys met some our of goals. I thought our defense was stingy in critical times. I really was pleased with that and the atmosphere."
The Eagles return to Holt Fieldhouse for the first home game of the season Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. tip-off with the Coker Cobras. The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-off with the Voice of the Eagles Adam Cavalier starts at 3:45 p.m. on the Eagle Sports Network.