Eagles head up the mountain to battle Mars Hill

Eagles head up the mountain to battle Mars Hill

C-N Game Notes

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (5-7, 3-3 South Atlantic Conference) will try to move its league record above .500 for the first time this season and win its first road game in three tries when it heads to Stanford Arena to tangle with Mars Hill (7-5, 2-4 SAC) Wednesday night at 8.

The Eagles lost by 11, 84-73 to the Lions back in November at Holt Fieldhouse and now try to win their first road game since a five-point victory over Tusculum on November 19. 

"You can see from that first meeting that we were hesitant," head coach Chuck Benson said. "I feel like we're better off now than we were then that we can do a better job to not let them torch us."

C-N has been a different team away from Holt Fieldhouse.  The Eagles are averaging 79.8 points per game at home and 65.4 points on the road. C-N's field percentages are similar – 48 percent at home to 45 percent on the road – however, where the real drop off is, is beyond the three point line.

Carson-Newman is connecting on 42 percent of its treys inside Holt Fieldhouse, however, that figure plummets to 22.8 percent on the road.  What's more, the Eagles haven't been high volume three-point shooters on the road.  C-N takes 10 more threes a game at home than on the road (20-10).  Carson-Newman has buried just 13 threes away from Holt Fieldhouse this season. 

The Eagles will have to contend with a player who burned C-N from deep the last time the team's squared off. 

The Lions' Patrick Monroe canned a school record 9-of-17 threes in the meeting in Holt Fieldhouse en route to a career high 31 points.  Mars Hill sank 16 threes as a team. Only Anderson has hit more than 15 threes in a game during the Chuck Benson era.

"We've got to go in there knowing that they'll be happy to see us coming to Mars Hill," Benson said. "We've got to make sure we make them as uncomfortable as we can defensively constantly defending them as they whip the ball around the perimeter."

Monroe leads the Lions in scoring with 13.2 points per game.  He ranks fourth in the country in threes attempted with 104.  However, he still shoots 32 percent from deep.  Of his 33 made threes this season, 27.2 percent came in the first meeting with the Eagles.

Carson-Newman is coming off its best defensive performance of the season and one of its best this century.  The Eagles limited Wingate to 27.4 percent shooting in their 81-60 rout of the Bulldogs.  That shooting percentage is the lowest by a SAC or Division II opponent since the turn of the century.  Only a 26.6 night by Hiwassee in 2009 is lower than Wingate's tally. 

Reigning AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) is coming off a season high 17-point, seven-rebound performance while Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) is averaging a team-best 14.4 points per game over the Eagles last five contests.

"Nobody had really separated themselves," Benson said of his lineup. "The good thing is that we've got guys who are ok with being flipped in and out. Sawyer came into his own, Jay Lane got his first start.  There aren't a ton of egos on this team."

Tipoff from Stanford Arena is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday.  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. 

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