JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (4-6) wraps up its fall semester schedule with a road trip to Charlotte, N.C. to tangle with the CIAA's Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls (4-5) Wednesday night at 7.
Carson-Newman is trying to win its third consecutive game before breaking for the Christmas holiday. The Eagles haven't strung together three straight wins since a seven-game win streak from Feb. 1-22 last season.
The Golden Bulls will be looking to snap a string of back-to-back losses to South Atlantic Competition; Johnson C. Smith dropped a 75-69 decision at Wingate Dec. 8 and fell for the first time at home to cross town rival Queens Monday night 82-78.
The Eagles and Golden Bulls have met seven times. Johnson C. Smith owns a 5-2 advantage in the series.
Johnson C. Smith is coached by legendary 28-year headman Stephen Joyner who has guided his program to 12 NCAA tournament appearances. The Eagles ended one of those, with a 77-66 win in the programs' first meeting during the 2001-02 big dance in a round of 32 game at Holt Fieldhouse.
This year, Joyner's club is led by Stedmon Lemon and his 13.3 points per game. Lemon is the CIAA's reigning Newcomer of the Week. Emilio Parks averages 18 points and five rebounds a game, but hasn't played since the Golden Bulls opening two contests.
Johnson C. Smith averages 76.5 points per game, it connects on 48 percent of its shots, but just 28 percent from three.
The Eagles are 3-2 over their past five contests. All three wins came at home, with back-to-back beats on the road to Clayton State and Catawba. C-N has been far more successful of late compared to its 0-2 start. C-N has turned the ball over just 12 times per game over this recent stretch compared to a whopping 19.5 times per game in its 1-3 start.
Still, there are issues. The Eagles are allowing 10.2 made threes per game over this five-game stretch. Opponents have connected on 39 percent of their threes. Furthermore, 45 percent of opponents' shots taken have been from beyond the arc. Comparatively, Carson-Newman has taken 29.5 percent of its shots from three-point land over the same stretch.
Carson-Newman has four players averaging double-digits over the last five contests. Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) leads the way with 14.4 points per game. Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom), Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) follow suit with 12.0, 11.4 and 10.8 points per game, respectively.
Tipoff from downtown Charlotte is slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 6:45 with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.