VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Charles Clark Interview
VIDEO: Andy Barnett Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (9-10, 7-6 South Atlantic Conference) held Anderson (8-11, 4-9 SAC) without scoring for stretches of 11 and seven minutes en route to a 66-52 win Wednesday night in Holt Fieldhouse.
Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) tallied the second highest single game field goal percentage in school history by a player attempting more than 10 shots. Brooks finished 10-for-11 from the field for 21 points. He is bested only by his own 12-for-12 effort in the Eagles' debut this season against Barton.
"Carson's confidence is higher than it's ever been in his life right now," head coach Chuck Benson said. "He's had that 'ah-ha' moment where the light's gone on. He knows he can be really effective, and he's making very physical athletic rim attacks. Then he's recognizing when he needs to give it up."
Carson-Newman jumped out of the gates on a 13-4 run in a game in which the Eagles led for 39:43. The theme early and often for the Eagles was post play. C-N hit 8-of-10 shots to begin the game, all of which were attempted from within five feet of the rim. Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) capped the run with a layup following a Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) miss.
"I thought we had as thorough a preparation these last two days as we've had this year," Benson said. "They were locked in and they took great pride in showing great effort and intensity in their defensive effort and defending. I am very pleased with our defensive performance tonight."
Anderson brought the deficit down to five, 17-12 with 12:21 left in the first half, on a Mason Jones trey. However, those would be the last point the Trojans would score for the next 11 minutes. The Eagles used a 12-2 run bolstered by threes from Andy Barnett (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) three-pointers.
However, the Trojans would not go quietly into the night. Anderson erupted out of the gates in the second half by connecting on its first eight shot attempts including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Fortunately for C-N, the Eagles also started out of the gates with a hot hand, connecting on six of their first seven attempts.
By 12:03 left in the second half, the Trojans had only cut the lead to three, doing so on a Nick Jackson triple, in spite of shooting 8-for-8 from the floor at the time. AU wouldn't score for the next seven minutes.
Barnett buried treys on two of C-N's next three possessions and the Eagles whipped out a 16-2 run to take a 62-45 lead with 4:17 to play.
The Trojans 52 points are the fewest the Eagles' have allowed in a game this season. Carson-Newman shot 28-for-45 from the floor – 62.2 percent. It's the Eagles best shooting performance since hitting 64 percent of their shots at Brevard on Feb. 17, 2014.
Brooks finished with a game-high 21 – his third straight game with 20-plus points. Williams added 18. Combined, the trio of Brooks, Williams and Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) was 22-for-27 from the floor.
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) ran point for much of the second half after an injury to Johnson. He finished with a career high six assists.
"With Ryan Jones being day-to-day and Jared going down," Benson said. "For Charles to step up and do a sound solid job, speaks volumes about his growth. Six assists, four steals, he filled the thing up pretty nicely."
Nick Jackson led Anderson with 11 points – the Trojans' only double-digit scorer.
The win marks the first time in series history that C-N has ever won back-to-back games against the Trojans.
C-N returns home Saturday to face off with Catawba. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports network starts at 3:45 p.m. with a 4 'o clock tip on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.