VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Charles Clark Interview
ANDERSON, S.C. – Carson-Newman (8-1, 2-1 South Atlantic Conference) knocked down a season-high 13 triples and crashed the glass to defeat Anderson (2-7, 0-2 SAC) for a fifth straight time, 81-65, Wednesday night at the Abney Athletic Center.
The five straight wins for C-N over AU are the longest win streak for either team in the series' brief 17-game history which dates back a decade.
The win was the diametric opposite of Saturday's five-point loss at Newberry. The Eagles outrebounded Anderson 50-37.
"I'm glad that our guys learned that lesson," head coach Chuck Benson said. "To see it play itself out like that was as good as we could have hoped. Specifically, we did a much better job on the defensive glass, limiting their offensive boards. You throw out those final five minutes, we met a lot of goals. It didn't end the way we needed it to end though."
Anderson shot just 10-for-31 from the field in the first half and only had two offensive boards off the 21 misses. The Trojans finished with nine offensive boards for the game and only had four second chance points. Newberry had 18 offensive caroms on Saturday.
On the flip side, Carson-Newman was lethal from distance. The Eagles knocked down 13 threes on 28 attempts over the top off Anderson's zone. The 13 threes bested the 12 the Eagles knocked down against Southern Wesleyan and King earlier this season.
"We took what we were given," Benson said. "They were so intent on taking away drives and to take away the interior. So our kids went out there and took, and made, the shots with confidence."
Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) paved the way for the Eagles, leading the charge with 25 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from distance. He snared four rebounds, doled out three assists and played turnover free in 33 minutes.
"I wouldn't trade Charles Clark for anybody," Benson said. "He's the man. As much as I praise him, he and I both know that the Newberry game Saturday was as poor a performance as he's had here. He faced the music, took responsibility and as he said on air after the game Saturday, it wouldn't happen again. Today was day one of him making true on that statement, his numbers speak for themselves as a result."
Clark was one of four C-N players to finish in double figures. Josh Murray (Burlington, N.C.) tallied 13 points on five-of-six shooting. Malik Abraham (Snellville, Ga.) added 11 on 3-of-8 shooting from three-point range while Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) got into double digits for a eighth time in nine games with a 10-point effort.
"We controlled our controllables today," Clark said. "Whatever we needed to do today, whether it was box out or get stops, we tried to do it with A-plus effort today. That's what got us to the result we had today."
Carson-Newman created separation in the first half by starving Anderson defensively without a field goal for nearly seven minutes. In the interim, Carson-Newman rattled off a 19-5 scoring run headlined by a 9-0 spurt and a 10-0 spurt.
Then, the Eagles outscored AU 13-4 over the final five minutes of the half to take a 15-point lead into the break.
Again, Clark and Teichmann both knocked down triples, while Shaun Jones (Lawrenceville, Ga.) tipped in a miss at the horn to send C-N into the locker room ahead 39-24.
Carson-Newman kept the pedal pressed to the floor in the second half. The Eagles made five of their first six shot attempts. The Eagles opened the second stanza on a 22-7 run to push the lead to 31, 62-31, off a Charles Clark and-one with 14:42 to play in the half.
Anderson did use a late run with the reserves on the floor to trim the deficit to 16 at the final horn.
Carson-Newman locked things down defensively, holding its opposition under 70 for a sixth time this season. The Trojans finished the game shooting 37.7 percent from the field and 28.1 percent (9-for-32) from deep.
Preseason All-SAC first teamer Randall Shaw was ineffective. The Eagles held the SAC's third-leading scorer to his lowest output of the year at nine points. It was also an inefficient nine points for Shaw.
He went 3-for-12 from the field and 1-of-7 from distance. Shaw has now made just four of hiss last 22 shots against Carson-Newman inside the Abney Center.
"He was a major focal point in our scout," Benson said. "You're not going to stop him from scoring. We wanted to impact his efficiency. Our guys went in focused on that and making sure he didn't have space. He's such a spectacular scoring threat, that if we hadn't done that, he could have gone off for 20 or 30."
In Shaw's stead, Christian Jeffords led the charge for Anderson, primarily in the second half. He had 12 points. Andrew Boynton added in 11 and Jeremy Bouton dropped in 10.
Carson-Newman had 26 points in the paint for a second straight game, matching the season-low it had Saturday at Newberry. The difference being the Eagles' proficiency from beyond the arc.
The Eagles shot a season-low 44 percent from the field and only knocked down 14 free throws on 30 attempts.
Carson-Newman returns home Saturday to finish out a three-game stretch against schools from South Carolina. The Eagles take on Coker at 4 p.m. Pregame coverage begins at 3:45 on the Eagle Sports Network on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff.