VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Charles Clark Interview
VIDEO: Malik Abraham Interview
Carson-Newman has now swept the season series with the Wolves four out of the last five years. The Eagles have also won four consecutive games for a second time this year.
The Eagles filled up their tank with premium-grade 93 gasoline and ran highly efficiently offensively. Carson-Newman knocked down 41-of-69 shots to fire away at a 59.4 percent clip.
"We knew it was going to be a war," head coach Chuck Benson said. "To get a sweep against them is such a big deal. We respect Dave Davis and their program so much. I give credit to our guys for showing the mental toughness to get through this one."
C-N also knocked down a season-best 16 threes on 33 attempts, the most threes made and attempted in a game by the Eagles since draining 16 against Queens on Dec. 18, 2012 in a blowout win for the Eagles over the then-nonconference Royals.
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Malik Abraham (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Cam Holmes (Fort Mill, S.C.) all knocked down at least three. It was Abraham who was the most effective from deep. The sophomore went 8-for-14 from three-point range. He becomes the first Eagle since Ish Sanders on Feb. 22, 2014 against Queens to knock down at least seven triples in a game.
"Our guys are understanding the value of sharing the ball," Benson said. "There's a great deal of trust there. When you share it, you've got trust among players, that's a pretty good combination. But it's like an infant, you've got to protect and take care of that."
The triumvirate of Clark, Abraham and Williams eviscerated the Wolves for 82 points, combined. Clark reset his season high for points with 28, his career high for rebounds with 13 and his season high for assists with seven.
Prior to this last week, Kyle Gribble was the only C-N men's hoops player in this century with a 25-point, 10-rebound, five-assist effort. Clark has two of those in the last two games for the Eagles. He's averaging 27.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists this week.
"If there's been a better week of performance in my time at Carson-Newman, I don't know what it is," Benson said. "That says a lot considering what Antoine Davis and Ish Sanders (two pros) did in their time here. To do what he did this week is otherworldly, and a testament to the kind of player he is."
Abraham added in a career high 28 points. Williams was quiet with 26 point. All three players knocked down 10 field goals.
Shaun Jones (Lawrenceville, Ga.) quietly collected his 10th double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes due to foul trouble. He didn't miss from the floor, and is 17-for-17 from the field this season against Newberry.
On top of that, the Eagles came within two of the school record for assists by handing out 29 helpers. The 29 assists are tied for the 18th most handed out by a team in Division II this season. The Eagles had five players with at least four assists. Zack Pangallo (Newport, Ky.) matched his career high with eight.
Carson-Newman and Newberry battled back-and-forth for the game's first 10 minutes before the Eagles' traipsed out on a 21-4 run to take a 20-point lead into the halftime lockerroom. The Eagles were aided by a four-minute scoring drought in that span. The Eagles grabbed their first double-digit lead with 8:07 to play in the first half off a Pangallo corner three. Threes from Holmes and Abraham pushed the lead out to 16 with 5:56 to play, 44-28. An Abraham layup with three seconds left set the halftime margin at 29, 59-39.
"Everything went back to the fact that we were getting stops, and turning those stops and steals into baskets," Benson said. "It didn't hurt that we were shooting it like we were shooting it."
Newberry did make things interesting in the second half. The Wolves outscored C-N 19-8 to open up the second half and get within nine. However, Abraham provided the spark to bury the Wolves. The sophomore drilled threes on back-to-back possessions to spark an 11-0 run and push the lead to 21 with 6:38 to play. The Wolves wouldn't get any closer than 18 the rest of the way.
"We came out flat, you go into half up 20. I don't care what you do, short of threating somebody's life, you're gonna come out flat," Benson said. "That's even more apparent against one of Dave Davis' teams. We came out flat, but then dug in, regrouped and began playing again the way we played in the first half."
Newbery finished with four players in double figures. Gerald Evans led the way with 19. The Wolves, who led the nation in threes made and attempted, were just 10-for-30 from beyond the arc, a season low for threes attempted. Marshall Lange added 15 points, James Stepp and Quaman Burton had 14, each.
The Eagles outrebounded Newberry 44-25.
Carson-Newman returns to the floor Wednesday at nationally-ranked Lincoln Memorial. The game will be televised locally on MyWVLT-TV, and also broadcast on the Eagles Sports Network. Tipoff from Tex Turner Arena is set for 8 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 7:45 with the AEC Countdown To Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.