VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Shaun Jones Interview
VIDEO: Charles Clark Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (11-6, 8-3 South Atlantic Conference) shot an absurd 80 percent from the field in the second half while playing consistently good defense to throttle visiting Anderson (7-10, 5-6 SAC) 100-77, Wednesday night in Holt Fieldhouse.
The win gives Carson-Newman three consecutive victories over the Trojans, the first time that C-N has strung together three straight victories over AU in series history. Carson-Newman has won five of its last six games this season while the Trojans have lost four straight.
C-N used an 11-1 run spanning the halftime break to create the separation necessary to dust off AU. Anderson only made 1 of its final nine attempts to end the first half, while Cameron Holmes (Fort Mill, S.C.) drained a three and Shaun Jones (Lawrenceville, Ga.) hit a couple layups to put C-N in front 45-36 at the half.
"The credit goes to the shot takers and shot makers," head coach Chuck Benson said. "We shared the ball well, made the extra pass, and found open players. We got high percentage looks, and the guys capitalized on them."
Holmes and Jones continued the onslaught in the second half with back-to-back dunks, extending the lead out to 13, and forcing AU head coach Jeff Brookman to call for time.
The Eagles used their torrid shooting to extend the lead out to more than 20 for the first time on the night with 9:06 to play on a Holmes corner three.
C-N shot a season high 69.6 percent from the field, going 39-for-56 from the floor. The Eagles were also an efficient 9-for-16 from three. At the same time, the Eagles limited Anderson to 40.6 percent shooting for the game.
The Eagles' 69.6 percent effort is the best single-game field goal percentage for the program this century. Meanwhile, no Carson-Newman team has made 80 percent of its shots in a half. The overall field goal percentage is the fifth best in Division II this season. The NCAA record for field goal percentage in a half is 95.0 percent. Abilene Christian went 19-for-20 from the floor on Jan. 21, 1989 against Cameron.
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Jones paced C-N with double-doubles. Clark had a season high 27 points and a career high 13 boards. Clark tallied his 50th consecutive double-digit scoring effort.
"Randall Shaw came in here as the league's leading scorer, I think Charles wanted to establish that he was the alpha male in his house," Benson said. "I think he marked his territory tonight."
Jones posted his ninth double-double of the year with 18 points and 12 boards.
"Shaun was very deliberate and intentional tonight," Benson said. "We and he had great preparation these past few days. He was so determined to do what he does, attack the rim and get rebounds."
They were two of five Eagles in double figures. Holmes went for more than 10 for a third consecutive game. Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) and Parker Role' (Atlanta, Ga.) each added 10 a piece. Role's 10 came in six minutes of game action.
The league's leading scorer, Randall Shaw, did just that for Anderson. The sophomore paced the Trojans with 26 on 7-for-15 shooting. He was 3-for-8 from three. Jeremy Bouton added 20 for the Trojans, going 4-of-7 from deep. Shawn Benard added 10.
The Eagles outrebounded AU 39-23 for their biggest rebounding margin of the year. C-N outscored Anderson in the paint as well 54-28. The Eagles had 20 or more assists for a fourth time this year. Clark handed out the most with six helpers.
C-N concludes its homestand Saturday against Newberry. Tipoff with the Wolves is set for 4 p.m. Coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 3:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.