The Eagles have won three straight home games against L-R, but none by more than five points.
"Coach Lentz's teams are always going to come out ready to defend and be ultra prepared," head coach Chuck Benson said. "You take two teams that take a great deal of pride defensively, and two teams that have a lot of new people. Who knows what happens when we take the court."
Carson-Newman has been plagued by a variety of maladies in its 2-6 start. Some games, the offense has struggled (Clayton State), others the issues have been turnovers (Barton, Mount Olive), while still others boil down to rebounding (Catawba) or less than stellar defense (Mars Hill).
Lenoir-Rhyne features the league's second leading scorer in Will Perry. The junior guard averages 20.4 points per game and has connected on 50 percent of his three-point attempts. He's also third in the league in three pointers made this season.
"I really like Will Perry's game," Benson said. "We know that we've got to have someone on him at all times. He's both speedy on the court and with how fast he takes a shot. We have to get someone on him in transition and the half court, we'll have to force others to step up and make shots."
Carson-Newman forward Josh Rogers has put up double-doubles in back-to-back games. It's the first time an Eagle has achieved two straight double-doubles since Kente Hart did it at home against Catawba (11 points, 10 assists) and Wingate (29 points, 10 assists) in February of 2007.
An Eagle hasn't posted back-to-back double doubles in points and rebounds since 2004. Jonathan Martin had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-73 win over USC Aiken before scoring 12 points and collecting 11 boards in a loss to Lincoln Memorial.
"For him to have back-to-back double-doubles speaks volumes of his commitment on both sides of the ball," Benson said. "We've got to get more guys who are doing what they are capable of doing. We get enough guys doing that, our overall offensive numbers go up."
Tipoff between the Eagles and Bears is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 7:45 with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.