VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
The Royals' seven-game win streak is the fourth longest in the Southeast Region behind 13-game win streaks by LMU and Lander, and an eight-game win streak from North Georgia.
"They're as good as a defensive club as any team in our conference and our region," head coach Chuck Benson said. "On top of that, they make shots at a high clip and that makes them incredibly tough to deal with."
The Royals are 28th in the country in field goal percentage. They've hit 50.1 percent of their shots this season. Bart Lundy's group will provide a more than solid test for an Eagles' defense that is allowing teams to shoot 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from beyond the arc since the calendar turned over to the New Year.
"I like where we're at," Benson said. "We're making strides and our kids are getting more comfortable utilizing our defense as a weapon. I'm excited as I've been in a while to play a team and see how we measure up with them."
The Royals are led by Rob Lewis and his 16.4 points per game and Sean Morgan. Morgan puts down 15.5 a game and has connected on an other-worldly 72.5 percent of his shots – good enough to put him fourth in the nation.
"He's got good hands, with good tough and a big body," Benson said of Morgan. "He's able to carve out space inside with his big, barrel-chested body. We'll have to get him out of position and make him take contested shots."
The Eagles and Royals have split the four-games they've played since 2012. The home team has won each time it's taken the court. Carson-Newman thumped the Royals by 35 in the first meeting two years ago behind a career best 36 point effort from Antoine Davis.
C-N got another 30-point effort in the meeting last year when Ish Sanders dropped 31 on Queens.
The Royals have won all but two games on their most recent win streak by at least 15 points (the exceptions, 82-78 at home v. Johnson C. Smith and 71-68 on the road at Mars Hill).
Tipoff Saturday is set for 4 p.m. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 3:45 with the Countdown to Tipoff Powered by the Appalachian Electric Cooperative on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.