Pioneers perforate Eagle defense in 91-90 win

Pioneers perforate Eagle defense in 91-90 win

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Tusculum (2-14, 2-9 SAC) snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 91-90 win over Carson-Newman (7-10, 5-6 SAC) Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse. 

The 91 points are the most Carson-Newman has allowed since losing 90-72 at Anderson in February of 2012. 

Tusculum shot 54 percent from the field and featured five players in double-digit scoring.

"Credit goes to Tusculum, they made shots," head coach Chuck Benson said. "If you had told me that we were going to shoot 54 percent from the field, shoot 77 percent from the free throw line on 30 attempts and dish out 18 assists with 90 points, I'd tell you we'd win that game every time.   But the reality is that we aren't consistent enough defensively.  We gave them too many open looks."

The Pioneers finished with five players in double figures.  Corey Fagan led the charge with 28 points.  He canned 7-of-10 threes and 9-of-12 shots. 

The Eagles were led by Carson Brooks and his second career double-double.  Brooks had 23 points and 10 boards to lead four Eagles in double digits scoring. 

Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) added 16 points.  Williams reset his career marks at the free throw line hitting 10-of-12 free throws. 

Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) had 16 points while Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) matched his career high with 15 points.

Tusculum led by eight with 88 seconds left, however, a Brooks and-one and a Johnson desperation three from the left wing brought the Eagles back from the brink. 

After two Zach Davis threes with 4.6 seconds left, Tusculum led 91-88.  Johnson was unable to recreate his three-point magic as his straight-on 25-footer clanged off the left side of the rim.  Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) was able to clean up the shot for two, but ultimately it was too little, too late for C-N.

Mason Fox produced the first double-double with points and assists against C-N since the turn of the century.   The Pioneer guard had 10 points to go along with 11 dimes.  Matt Shown also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. 

"The reality of this is that they made shots," Benson said. "They made some tough shots, but we also did a bad job of containing things.  A lot of things collectively doomed us and that's the unfortunate part of this.  We did enough offensively, we didn't do enough defensively tonight.  Hopefully that's something we can get rectified in the next couple practices."

The Eagles hit the road Saturday for a matchup at Newberry.  Tipoff with the Wolves is set for 4 p.m., pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 3:45 with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at   

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