HARROGATE, Tenn.— Thanks to five Cornelius Taylor three-pointers in the first six minutes of game action and a triple-double effort from Dorian Pinson, Lincoln Memorial handled Carson-Newman quickly with a 108-74 route in the Tex Turner Arena Wednesday night.
"Collectively, Lincoln Memorial was the better team tonight," C-N coach Chuck Benson said. "Lets be honest. They beat us here tonight but we beat them at their place. Tonight was a tough loss for us and two months ago was a tough loss for them. I don't think this performance defines us and I hope we can learn and move forward."
The Railsplitters (15-4, 10-3 South Atlantic Conference) used a high-powered offense surge in the first half to take the commanding 35-point halftime lead over the Eagles (12-7, 9-4). The loss was tied for the eighth-worst defeat in Carson-Newman history as the visitors allowed 15 treys during the contest.
Pinson's line of 10 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists also marked the first triple-double ever recorded against the Eagles in program history. Along with the dominate play from Lincoln Memorial's forward, the Railsplitters saw four players score in double digits, two of which who notched over 25 points on the night.
Down 8-4 right off the bat, LMU went on a 25-2 run over the course of the next five minutes as Taylor led the charge from long range.
"They just came out and hit us with a hard punch," guard Charles Clark said postgame. "We never rallied back from it and that pretty much sums it up. They came out and played hard from start to finish and shot the lights out of the gym."
The three-point specialist knocked down five in as many minutes to begin the contest as Luquon Choice also contributed two the process to extend the lead. With the score 36-9 with a little under 10 minutes remaining in the half, C-N began to knock down some shots in the form of Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.).
The senior was responsible for nine of the first 11 points for the Eagles and finished the first half as C-N's leading scorer. All told in the dominating half for Lincoln Memorial, Carson-Newman was held to only a 23 percent clip from the field as the 'Splitters fired a 51 percent clip.
Following the intermission that saw the home team up 56-21, C-N and LMU traded baskets back-and-fourth for the greater part of the first six minutes.
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) began to find his touch from long range as the junior, who was held to only four first half points, knocked down a pair of triples in the opening-two minutes for the Eagles. Malik Abraham (Snellville, Ga.), who knocked in the game-winning basket to down LMU back in November, hit three-consecutive free throws to aid Charles in the scoring during the span.
Overall in the second half, the Eagles outscored Lincoln Memorial by three on its way to shooting at a 55 percent stat. The Railsplitters still converted on a 50 percent clip themselves and were able to cruise to their 10th SAC win of the season with the 32 point win.
As the final buzzer sounded, Carson-Newman fell to Lincoln Memorial 108-76 to snap what would have been its first five-game winning-streak since the 2013-2014 season.
In the loss, Carson-Newman still had three players reach double-figures as Williams tallied 21 points, Abraham notched 16 points and Clark tapped out with 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds for his third-consecutive double-double.
"Sawyer [Williams] is a tough guy and honestly, he has been battling some illness over the course of the past few days," Benson said. "In spite of that, he still grows up and goes out there and competes."
The 'Splitters saw both Choice and Chris Perry recorded 28 points as the former drilled five treys and the latter knocked down 8-of-10 free throws. Taylor tapped out with 18 points on the night while Pinson's triple-double line read 10 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists.
LMU recorded 21 points off second chance opportunities compared to only 13 from Carson-Newman, while the Eagles saw its bench tally 32 points in defeat.
Carson-Newman will be back in action on the road Saturday afternoon as the Eagles look to take down the No. 1 team in the SAC, Queens. Coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins at 3:45 with the Countdown to Tipoff on Joy 620FM (Mountain Country-Sevierville).