White-hot ‘Splitters torch Eagles 90-68

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview 

HARROGATE, Tenn. – Lincoln Memorial (4-2, 1-0 SAC) got hot from beyond the arc from the get go and rode an early surge to a wire-to-wire, 90-68, win over Carson-Newman (5-1, 0-1 SAC) Wednesday night at Tex Turner Arena. 

Lincoln Memorial burst forth from the gates on a 9-0 run with threes from Alex Dahling, Cameron Henry and Cornelius Taylor.  The Railsplitters had a double-digit lead 4:30 into the game, and utilized 10-0 and 14-2 runs to stretch the advantage to 20 by halftime.  The Railsplitters would lead by double-digits for 88 percent of the contest. 

"The outcome itself is disappointing," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "However, what's more disappointing was our performance, specifically our lack of follow through on our prep plan.  To literally be exploited like we were exploited the first four minutes of the game by things that we were prepared to handle, if you don't follow thorugh, a team as talented as LMU can take advantage of that." 

Lincoln memorial buried 9-of-18 threes in the first half with Taylor and Dahling combing to go 7-for-12 from long range themselves.

Meanwhile, the Eagles struggled on the offensive end against LMU team that was 18th in the country in field goal percentage defense.  Carson-Newman shot 29 percent from the field in the first half and finished 20-for-58 (34.5 percent) from the field. 

"It was primarily their defense and our lack of positive response," Benson said. "We lacked the poise and resiliency to let it come instead of forcing it.  That was the perfect storm for us.  We watched them make threes, then we came down to the other end and started to try to make one-on-one plays, which is not what we do.  It snowballed, and it snowballed in a hurry."

Carson-Newman had a glimmer of hope midway through the first half.  C-N utilized a 6-0 run to trim a 15-point LMU lead down to nine.  However, it could have been much more.  The Eagles held LMU without a bucket for six minutes while forcing five LMU turnovers in that span, at the same time, after starting that run, C-N went five  minutes without scoring.  LMU went on that 14-2 run the back half of that stretch to put the game on ice. 

Lincoln Memorial dominated every facet of the stats sheet. The only areas Carson-Newman had advantages were at the free throw stripe and off the bench.  The Eagles were 24-of-32 from the line, while LMU was 7-for-13.  Carson-Newman also outscored the 'Splitters off the bench 26-20. 

Taylor and Anthony Brown led all scorers with 18 points each.  Taylor was 7-for-16 from the field and 4-for-10 from range.  Brown knocked down 8-of-13 shots.  Dahling chipped in 17 for LMU.  He was 5-for-9 from three-point range.  Kamaran Calhoun rounded out LMU's double-digit scorers with 12. 

Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) was the Ealges' lone player in double digits.  He had an inefficient 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting.  He went 1-for-6 from long range. 

Carson-Newman continues its road trip with a jaunt to the greater Charlotte, N.C. area Saturday. The Eagles tip at Wingate at 4 p.m. Coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins 15 minutes prior to tip with the AEC Countdown Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.