VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (12-11, 10-7 South Atlantic Conference) saw Brevard (10-13, 8-9 SAC) canned 12-of-21 three points and forced 21 C-N turnovers en route to a 63-60 win over the Eagles Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
Carson-Newman sees its five-game win streak slip into the rear view mirror while the Eagles lose to Brevard for the first time under head coach Chuck Benson. C-N had won nine straight against the Tornados dating back to a 2010 loss in the semifinals of the South Atlantic Conference tournament.
"First, credit goes to Brevard, anytime you win a conference road game, it's a quality win," head coach Chuck Benson said. "I thought tonight, despite our attempts to make them uncomfortable, they we're relaxed tonight – we didn't do a good job with that. They were in their comfort zone and they got good looks and made them. When they make 12 threes and you couple that with our offensive woes, you're going to have problems."
Carson-Newman trailed by as many as 13 in the second half following a 14-2 Brevard run.
With nine minutes left, the Tornados led 55-42 after a Phil Wallace three. The Tornados wouldn't score another point over the game's next 5:21; however, the Eagles could only trim that deficit down to eight over the span owing largely to missed opportunities. While the Tornados went scoreless through that stretch, the Eagles turned it over three times and had their only two shots of the game blocked.
Yet, Carson-Newman still had a chance to force bonus basketball. A three by Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) got the deficit down to two with 14 seconds left. Reid Burke (Nashville, Tenn.) promptly fouled Miles Leathers on the in bounds to send him to the line to shoot two. Leathers drained his first but missed his second. The rebound fell to Clark on the left block, but Leathers had the wherewithal to follow his shot and knock the ball loose to teammate Darius Moose. He was fouled with five seconds left but couldn't hit either of his free throws to give the Tornados a two-possession lead.
After the second miss, Andy Barnett secured the rebound and set up Clark for a right corner three. Clark pumped to draw two defenders into the air, but saw his desperation heave with the clock expiring carom off the heel of the basket to close the game.
The Eagles saw a herculean effort from Clark go by the wayside. The freshman had 21 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. He was the Eagles only double-digit scorer. Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) saw his 16-game double-digit scoring streak end in the defeat.
Brevard had five players finish with 10 points or more, led by Trevon Shaw's 14. Shaw, Moose, Alex Moe and Phil Wallace all hit multiple threes on the night at a better than 40 percent clip as individuals. Brevard shot 57 percent from beyond the arc as a team. The Tornados attempted 19 more shots than the Eagles did largely due to improved offensive rebounding (11 caroms) and the Eagles' 21 turnovers.
Carson-Newman tries to right the ship with a roadtrip to Wingate Saturday. The Bulldogs (as well as the Queens Royals) are a game in front of the Eagles in the South Atlantic Conference standings in second place.
Tipoff Saturday is set for 4 p.m. from Cuddy Arena. 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 cneagles.com/live.