VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
SALISBURY, N.C. – Catawba (4-3, 2-2 South Atlantic Conference) crashed the offensive glass in the second half to stiff-arm Carson-Newman (2-6, 1-3 SAC) to a 78-73 win at Goodman Gym Saturday evening.
The Indians racked up 15 offensive rebounds and outscored Carson-Newman 18-5 in second chance points to hold the Eagles at bay in the second half.
"I'm going to sound like a broken record," head coach Chuck Benson said. "We just cannot carry over for 40 minutes all the things that we need to do to win a game. We just don't have that ability yet. If we had a practice right now, we'd feel good about what we saw. But when it's a pressure environment for 40 minutes, were just not capable of doing that yet."
Catawba shot 46 percent from the field and 44 percent from three in the first half in building a five-point halftime lead. The Eagles defense stiffened in the second stanza and limited Catawba to 38 percent shooting and 25 percent from deep.
The Indians had 10 of their offensive boards and 11 of their second chance points in the second half to keep any Eagle run at bay.
Carson-Newman tied the Indians on a trio of occasions in the second half, but never could retake the lead. C-N hit 15-of-29 shots in both the first and second halves, 51.7 percent for the game.
"They were just relentless and aggressive to get on the offensive glass," Benson said. "They've got guys who are trying to prove a point. They've got several new faces, so do we. I just go back and think of possessions where we missed layups or failed to capitalize on their miscues."
The Eagles' attack was post-oriented. C-N only hit two field goals, an Andy Barnett (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) three and a Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) 15-foot turnaround jumper from the baseline from outside the paint.
C-N outscored the Indians 56-24 from the post.
"Our guys inside today delivered," Benson said. "I thought they were able to get inside and do whatever they wanted at times. That's our strong suit. That's where we have our veteran status. Jared (Johnson) struggled today; he was battling a stomach bug. So that's why we were even more focused on getting the ball inside."
Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the Eagles with 16 points; he was 8-for-10 from the field. Rogers locked down his third career double-double and his second of the season with a 10-point, 10-rebound effort. Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) reset his season high with a 14-point outing.
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) was the only guard in double digits for C-N; he had 11.
The Indians were led by a game high 21 points from Jerrin Morrison. KJ Arrington, Jameel Taylor and Be Sealey joined him as double-digit scorers with 13, 12 and 11, respectively.
Carson-Newman returns home Wednesday for a matchup with Lenoir-Rhyme. Tipoff with the Bears is slated for 8 p.m. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins at 7:45 p.m. with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.