VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Reese Anderson Interview
VIDEO: Grant Teichmann Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (3-0) singed the nets to the tune of a blistering 66 percent shooting effort en route to cruising to a 108-77 breatdown of Lees-McRae (0-3) Wednesday evening at Holt Fieldhouse.
Six players finished in double figures for Carson-Newman as the Eagles led wire-to-wire on their way to a 13th consecutive win over the Bobcats. Carson-Newman dished out 32 assists on 40 made baskets to generate the third highest single-game assist total in school history and the seventh all-time with more than 30 assists.
"Obviously I was pleased with the fact that we trusted one another and were able to share the ball," head coach Chuck Benson said. "Any time you can get that ball moving and find the open man, you know you can knock down some shots."
Carson-Newman threw haymaker after haymaker early. The Eagles rattled off a 20-2 run while holding Lees-McRae scoreless over a 4:30 section in the first half. By the halftime horn, Carson-Newman had built a 23-point lead on the back of a 9-for14 effort (64 percent) from three-point range in the opening stanza.
The Eagles were on top 27-19 with 10:19 to go in the half after Kerry Richardson made a twisting layup to bring the Bobcats within eight. However, that's when Carson-Newman punched the accelerator all the way to the floor. Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) drilled a layup then hit a three to get the advantage to 19 with 6:50 to play.
Then, Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) buried a corner three; Reese Anderson (Douglasville, Ga.) scooped up a steal to generate a fastbreak bucket; and Dimitrii Bykov (Moscow, Russia) took an Anderson feed to the rim in transition to push the bulge to 26 in a matter of 67 seconds. Carson-Newman would lead by no fewer than 22 points the rest of the way.
"We're always trying to get three straight stops," Benson said. "Fortunately, we found some confidence really early on. I thought it helped that we were able to find and make shots from the three really early. We got our confidence early and were able to keep it at a high level throughout the game."
The Eagles used an 11-2 run in the second half to stretch the lead out to as large as 41 before cruising to the 31-point win. It is Carson-Newman's largest margin of victory since beating Anderson 112-81 on Jan. 31 last year.
Three players paced Carson-Newman with 16 points apiece. Teichmann, Bates and Anderson all hit that mark to combine for 48 points, and all three stuffed the stat sheet.
Teichmann became the third Eagle in the last 12 years to produce a double-double with points and assists. Teichmann finished with a career-high 11 helpers. He also collected six caroms. The Brentwood, Tenn.-native finished shooting 6-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from long range.
"I'm not surprised by something like this," Benson said. "Grant's a really good and versatile basketball player. He's a great decision maker and a heady player. He has to continue to dominate his moments."
Meanwhile, Bates added in three boards, four assists and a career-high five steals to go with his 16 points on a 6-of-10 shooting night.
Finally, Anderson rounded out the Eagles' scorers with at least 16 points. Anderson reset his career high with that effort on 7-of-10 shooting. He also chipped in four assists.
"We were clicking offensively as a team," Teichmann said. "It was a collective team effort. We got some stops in the first half and were able to push in transition. It was really a domino effect. It was everyone doing a little bit of everything tonight."
Cameron Holmes (Fort Mill, S.C.), Nick Rogers (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Cameron Andre (Kissimmee, Fla.) rounded out the Ealges' double-digit scorers. They scored 12, 12 and 10, respectively. The double-digit scoring efforts were the second for both Rogers and Andre in their Carson-Newman careers.
Carson-Newman finished the game shooting 14-of-26 percent from long range, that's 53.8 percent. The Eagles entered the game shooting 30 percent from distance on the season.
Meanwhile, Carson-Newman limited Lees-McRae defensively. The Bobcats, who set a school record for threes made last year with 432, were held to 8-for-25 shooting (32 percent) from long range.
Jonathan Webb and Anthony Hicks led Lees-McRae. They each had 11. Richardson added in 10 points for the Bobcats.
Carson-Newman outscored the Bobcats 29-9 in the fast break and 48-38 in the paint. While both teams turned it over 17 times, the Eagles had a 25-16 advantage in points off turnovers.
Carson-Newman hits the road to square off with another Conference Carolinas foe Saturday at King. Tipoff from Bristol, Tenn. is set for 7 p.m. Airtime on the Eagle Sports Network is 6:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on cneagles.com/live.
�� @granteichmann_ with the third double-double with points and assists in the last 11 years for C-N— Carson-Newman Athletics (@CNathletics) November 15, 2018
�� A net-sizzling 66 percent shooting effort.
�� A 13th straight win over @DunkMountain
Good way to open Holt Fieldhouse for @CN_Hoops pic.twitter.com/vr9oBF1EJs