JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (16-10, 13-7 South Atlantic Conference) can secure a first-round home game in the South Atlantic Conference tournament with a win Wednesday night at 8 against Brevard (2-24, 0-20 SAC).
A victory would mean Carson-Newman would host a first-round home game for a fourth time in five years. The Eagles only need to win one of their final two games to host. A loss by Catawba to either Wingate or Lincoln Memorial would also secure the Eagles their home game.
The Eagles are finally back in Holt after a grueling stretch of games that saw Carson-Newman play six contests out of eight away from home. Four of those six road games came against the top half of the league.
"We're delighted to be back at home," head coach Chuck Benson said. "That was the toughest four-week stretch in the seven years that I've been the head coach here. I take 4-4 through that stretch with trips to LMU, Queens, Catawba, Anderson and Tusculum.
"This is a big week for us. I told our guys that I want us to learn from the past month and have it be something that can impact us and help us improve as we wrap up the regular season and head into the tournament. If you would have told me going into this season that we would be where we are, top 10 in the region, without Mason Bates, losing Zack Pangallo three games ago, and to control your own destiny to host a first round playoff game with eight new players, I wouldn't have believed you. We hadn't even talked about a first round home game as a motivator. This team bypassed my expectation, and I've liked this team's response to adversity, especially of late."
The Eagles have been a different team at home this season. Carson-Newman averages 92.4 points per game on 52.4 percent shooting at home. In addition to that, the Eagles connect on 44 percent of their threes. Away from Holt Fieldhouse, Carson-Newman is averaging 80.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 38.4 percent shooting from three.
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) moved past Kyle Gribble with a 23-point effort against Wingate and into 12th place on the all-time scoring list. Clark ranks third among players in the Division II era. He needs 12 points to become Carson-Newman's 12th, 1500-point scorer.
Meanwhile, Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) sits at 1,446 career points. He needs 16 points to catch Jerry Cannon for 14th all-time and 26 to match Gribble. Williams has scored double digits in 32 consecutive games - the second longest streak in school history behind Charles Clark's 52- game string, which came to an end earlier this season at Queens.
Brevard is winless in 2017. The Tornados were last victors on Dec. 30 in overtime against North Greenville. The Tornados have dropped 14 straight since then. Brevard is the unfortunate owner of the longest losing streak in the Southeast region. Only Georgian Court and Salem International have fewer wins than Brevard does. Brevard has only been within 10 points of one opponent, a 75-70 loss at home to Lenoir-Rhyne, on its 14-game skid.
Brevard is bottom 10 in the country in rebounding margin (298 out of 302 schools), offensive rebounds per game (298), total rebounds (297), defensive rebounds per game (296), scoring margin (295), field goal percentage (295) and assist to turnover ratio (294).
Tipoff between the Eagles and Tornados is set for 8 p.m. Coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 7:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.