JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (8-1, 2-1 South Atlantic Conference) returns to Holt Fieldhouse for a Saturday 4 p.m. tip with Coker (4-5, 1-0 SAC) looking to continue a formidable run of form inside the friendly confines of the home arena.
Carson-Newman has won 11 consecutive games inside the friendly confines of Holt Fieldhouse. Aside from the Eagles' 92-91 win over King, all of those games have been decided by at least 13 points.
Mars Hill has the closest margin of defeat on the Eagles' current home winning streak outside of the King game, falling to C-N 91-78 last year. Carson-Newman has beaten the last 11 teams it's faced at home by an average of 22.9 points.
Carson-Newman hasn't shot below 50 percent from the field in the last 11 games at Holt. The Eagles are averaging 58.2 percent shooting and 46.7 percent from beyond the arc with an average of 10.5 made triples per game
The Eagles last loss at home came on Jan. 7, 2017, 79-77 to Wingate.
In addition to a game against a scrappy Coker team, head coach Chuck Benson said the Eagles will also have their attention on academics.
"This is always a challenging time of the year," head coach Chuck Benson said. "In addition to preparing for Coker, we have to make certain our players are also getting ready for finals, and that's a major focal point right now. Coker's big, athletic and they play hard. They'll come in here hungry. I think our guys are hungry too, and they weren't satisfied just by getting back on the winning track against Anderson."
The matchup with Coker marks the first meeting between the teams since Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) went ballistic on the Cobras last season. Clark at the time put forth the highest scoring triple-double in basketball history AND reset the SAC and Carson-Newman single-game scoring records with a 54-point, 11-rebound, 12-assist effort as the Eagles dominated 120-91.
The Eagles' All-American was 16-for-27 from the field and 7-for-14 from three-point range. He canned 15 of his 16 free throw attempts on the day. He also broke Chris Jones' 56-year-old Carson-Newman record for points in a half. Clark had 36 in the second, besting Jones' 33 from a 1961 game against Emory & Henry.
All told, Clark, Malik Abraham (Snellville, Ga.) and Sawyer Williams combined for 103 points. That trio combined to outscore Coker's entire team 103-91.
With 1,862 career points, Clark has the fourth most points among active players in Division II. Clark now takes aim at Presbyterian's Chuck Rayford (2000-03) and his 1,905 points for fifth place on the SAC's all-time scoring list. Ish Sanders is next on C-N's all-time scoring list.
Carson-Newman is still tops in the country for offensive efficiency at 54.5 percent. That's inspite of Carson-Newman's worst shooting performance of the season. The Eagles shot 44.3 percent from the field, their first and only game thus far shooting below 45 percent from the field.
Ball security will be paramount for C-N. Coker ranks eighth in the country with 90 total steals.
Tip between the Eagles and Cobras is set for 4 p.m. Coverage starts at 3:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.