VIDEO: Chuck Benson interview
VIDEO: Mason Bates Interview
WINGATE, N.C. – Carson-Newman (5-2, 0-2 South Atlantic Conference) outshot Wingate (4-4, 2-0 SAC) from the field, but the Bulldogs owned the offensive glass to pave the way to an 82-62 win over the Eagles Saturday afternoon at Cuddy Arena.
Carson-Newman knocked down 42 percent of its shots while limiting Wingate below its season shooting averages with a 37 percent effort from the field and a 38 percent effort from long range. However, Wingate grabbed 21 offensive boards, outrebounded C-N 47-38 and outscored Carson-Newman 22-7 in second chance points to get a weird 20-point win over the Eagles.
"Credit goes to Wingate for their physicality," head coach Chuck Benson said. "We knew it would be a challenge because they have such length. We came up short in limiting their seconds. It's really quite frustrating, because on another hand, they missed a lot of shots and we played good defense. The seconds and thirds made the effort to not good enough."
The Eagles also didn't help their case with 17 turnovers while only forcing seven Wingate miscues. Wingate had 18 points off turnovers to eight for the Eagles.
While C-N had the advantage in terms of shooting percentage, Wingate attempted 23 more shots than Carson-Newman did, and made six more than the Eagles.
The teams battled back and forth for the first 10 minutes before Carson-Newman grabbed an 18-11 lead midway through the first period. However, the Eagles were mired in the offensive doldrums for the rest of the frame. Wingate outscored C-N 28-10 headed into the half to take a 39-28 lead into the locker room.
The Bulldogs used a pair of 9-2 runs to accomplish the bulk of the spurts. The Bulldogs tied the game at 20 with a Dylan Robertson tip in followed by a Charlie Hovasse triple with 8:29 to go in the half. With 1:09 left, the lead had bulged to nine following a Marco Haskins three at 37-28.
Carson-Newman would get no closer than nine in the second half as the Bulldogs snapped up the 20-point win.
The head-scratching nature of the game extended to the individual section of the box score. The league's leading scorer Marco Haskins was kept below his average. The senior guard had 20 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, but only went 6-for-14 from the floor and 3-of-7 from three. Haskins came in shooting 48 percent from the field and 59 percent from three.
"We made a big deal about impacting his play, and I thought we did," Benson said. "Our team this year is all about a work in progress. These are experiences that we're trying to learn from. I'm not discouraged, we just have to improve and grow."
Joshua Strozier added in 12 points, albeit on 4-of-11 shooting. Jakub Dawkins had a highly inefficient 10, with a 4-of-17 effort from the field and 1-of-7 effort from three.
Frankie Johnson and Francis Sio rounded out five double-digit scorers for Wingate. They both finished with 11.
Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) paced C-N with 12. Luke Brenegan (Greenville, S.C.) reset his career high with 11. He went 4-of-7 from the field and 3-for-5 from three. Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) added in his fourth career double-double. He had 10 points and 10 boards. This is the first time that Carson-Newman has lost a game in which Bates has had a double-double.
"At this point, I'm not even worried about my stats," Bates said. "I'm just trying to figure out stuff for us as far as the team goes. It's always nice to have that, but I'd rather come out of here with a win."
Couple with the Eagles' loss Wednesday to Lincoln Memorial, these two losses are Carson-Newman's first back-to-back losses since losing Jan. 25 and 28, 2017 to Lincoln Memorial and Queens, respectively.
Carson-Newman, among the best passing teams in the country, was limited to eight assists on 21 made baskets.
"They did a good job of limiting ball movement," Benson said. "Brian Good (Wingate's head coach) made the comment to me in the handshake line that it was the best defense they had played all year. I have to agree with that."
The Eagles return home Wednesday to take on Lenoir-Rhyne. Tipoff with the Bears is set for 8 p.m. Pregame 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