VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Zack Pangallo Interview
VIDEO: Shaun Jones Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A career-best 25-point effort from Zack Pangallo (Newport, Ky.) coupled with a beefy second half run helped Carson-Newman (13-8, 10-5 South Atlantic Conference) move by Mars Hill (4-17, 2-13 SAC) Wednesday night inside Holt Fieldhouse.
The Eagles sweep the season with the Lions. Carson-Newman has taken five in-a-row all-time with the Lions.
Pangallo sparked a three-point barrage for the Eagles in the first half. The sophomore buried a career-best 5-0f-6 shots from deep and pushed C-N out to an early 15-point lead midway through the first half.
However, Mars Hill clawed within seven at the break, and within four with 14 minutes to play in the second half.
Carson-Newman would use a 15-2 run while the Lions suffered through a four-minute scoring drought to seal the deal and take a 17-point lead with 6:18 to play at 74-57. Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) raced out for a fast break layup, and a slam after a steal to cement the run and the lead.
The Eagles would lead by double digits the rest of the night.
"It starts on the defensive end," head coach Chuck Benson said. "It wasn't the rotation that I would have assumed, with some freshmen on the floor. But they deserve credit for reestablishing a command of the game that had waned a bit."
Pangallo's 25-point effort is the second time he's scored more than 20 in his Carson-Newman career. It's the first time he's ever led C-N in scoring.
"A lot of it was just confidence," Pangallo said. "A lot of it too is that my teammates have found me when I was open. That and confidence. We were able to drive and get two people to the ball, which left me open."
Pangallo had a whopping 15 points in the game's first 10 minutes.
"He came out there on fire," Benson said. "Golly! He put them on his back offensively. He was unleashing. I'm not surprised at all, because of the investment he's made in development of his skill set. I'm glad he knows that it's a possibility."
All five starters hit double figures for the Eagles.
Clark returned to form with his 38th career 20-point scoring effort. He also chipped in six boards and three assists. Shaun Jones (Lawrenceville, Ga.) notched his 11th double-double of the year behind 12 points and a career-high-matching 15 boards. He also had four blocks, a new career mark.
Carson-Newman shot better than 50 percent from the field for an 11th time this season. The Eagles went 32-for-56 from the floor to finish at a 57.1 percent clip. The Eagles also drilled 8-of-16 threes.
C-N outrebounded the Lions by 17, 40-23.
Mars Hill was led by Vernon Jackson and his 16 points. The Lions connected on 44.6 percent of their shots.
"We have to show that we can handle prosperity," Benson said. "I'd like to think that we could have established a bigger lead. But we had some issues that stymied our rhythm and roll."
The Eagles hit the road Saturday for a contest at Catawba. Tipoff with the Indians is set for 4 p.m. with a 3:45 airtime on the Eagle Sports Network. Pregame coverage begins with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.