VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Sawyer Williams Interview
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carson-Newman (14-12, 12-8 South Atlantic Conference) dominated inside on Queens (14-12, 11-9 SAC) with a whopping 56 points in the paint en route to an 87-62 throttling of the Royals on their senior day.
Carson-Newman was 34-for-57 from the field (59.7 percent) while limiting Queens, the second most efficient offense in the league, to 21-for-56 shooting (37.5 percent).
The win guarantees Carson-Newman a spot in the South Atlantic Conference tournament and moves the Eagles into a three-way tie for second place with Wingate and Newberry (the Eagles were picked seventh in the preseason poll).
"It goes back to the players," head coach Chuck Benson said. "I thought defensively we were very stingy and did a good job of keeping them in check. I felt like they never got going offensively. For us offensively, we were very efficient and deliberate about getting the thing inside. Carson Brooks and Sawyer Williams capitalized inside frequently."
Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) reset his career high with 28 points on 11-for-12 shooting. Sawyer Williams notched his third career double-double with 17 points and a career best 14 rebounds.
Brooks 11-for-12 shooting effort is tied for the second best single game field goal percentage in C-N history by a player shooting 10 or more shots. Brooks holds the school record with a 12-for-12 performance against Barton in the Eagles' opener. He also went 11-for-12 from the field in C-N's 66-52 win over Anderson in Holt Fieldhouse.
Williams' 14 rebounds are the most for an Eagle since Scott Williams had 15 rebounds against Newberry on Jan. 8, 2006.
"Those guys were outstanding," Benson said. "Brooks being 11-for-12 from the field, that's just awesome. He made his free throws too. Sawyer same thing with his 14 boards. We always make a big deal about getting the thing inside, because that's our strength. I thought at Anderson, we weren't the aggressor, for us to wrap up this road stretch like this, I'm really happy about where are front line is right now."
The win wraps up a three-game road trip for the Eagles and a span of five of the last six away from Holt Fieldhouse. Carson-Newman went 2-1 on the road trip and 4-2 overall during the six-game stretch.
Queens jumped out of the gates with a 5-0 run in the game first 1:13. Benson, displeased with his team's opening performance, called for time. The Eagles broke that huddle with a 19-2 run to take a 19-7 lead with 14:09 to play in the first half on a Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) fast break bucket. The Eagles would lead by no fewer than double digits the rest of the way.
The Eagles were able to extend their lead to 18 at the break thanks to a Jay Lane (Manassas, Va.) buzzer-beating 10-foot floater. A Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) triple from the right win gave the Eagles a 21-point lead 2:02 into the second half. Carson-Newman would lead by as many as 31 in the second half after a Christian Harris (Mesa, Ariz.) three.
Bates and Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) rounded out the Eagles' double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Williams also had a career high four steals to go along with his double-double.
In the first meeting between the two teams – an 82-80 Royals' win, Queens finished with six players on the plus side of 10 points. In meeting two, Rob Lewis represented the Royals only double-digit scorer with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. C-N limited the Royals two primary posts, Sean Morgan and Jared Hendryx to a combined seven points. Morgan had six of those and was 3-of-8 from the field.
"Our focus was on our overall team approach," Benson said. "Lewis and Morgan are very capable of putting up points, which Lewis did tonight. But Morgan seemed like he never was able to get comfortable. For Lewis to get his wasn't really surprising though. I felt like we played a complete game and that was the overall difference."
Carson-Newman outscored the Royals 56-18 in the paint. The Eagles also had 16 fast break points, the second highest tally on the season for that category. C-N also forced 17 Royal turnovers, 13 of which were steals, and turned them into 28 points, compared to 18 for Queens.
The Eagles return home Wednesday to face top five Lincoln Memorial. Tipoff with the Railsplitters from Holt Fieldhouse is set for 8 p.m. with pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starting 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.