VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview
VIDEO: Grant Teichmann Interview
VIDEO: Nick Rogers Interview
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carson-Newman (9-6, 2-6 South Atlantic Conference) got career efforts from Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Nick Rogers (Knoxville, Tenn.), but it wasn't enough to overcome No. 9 Queens (15-2, 7-0 SAC) presence on the glass and at the free throw line.
The Royals prevailed 81-77 to extend the country's fourth longest winning streak to 10 games. Queens won its eighth straight game over the Eagles with the win Saturday afternoon at Curry Arena.
"If you're looking for a moral victory, you got one," head men's hoops coach Chuck Benson said. "But nobody in that locker room is interested in that. I have to give credit to this team for the poise and resilience they showed today. However, when it was winning time in that final three to four minutes, Queens made plays. There were some 50-50 balls that we could have capitalized on that we just didn't. I don't want to discredit Queens. Lewis Diankulu and Shawn Willet are the best one-two punch at the four and five in the conference. They tested us. We fought and fought and fought, but it wasn't enough to win the war."
Teichmann and Rogers were the lone two Eagles to finish in double-figures. Teichmann went for 26 points for a third time in his career. He was 10-for-18 from the field and 4-for-11 from three. Rogers added 16 on 6-of-11 shooting with a 4-of-6 ledger from long range.
"Grant did his part and then some tonight," Benson said. "He wanted to win. His preparation had been elite coming into this game. His leadership and will wouldn't be denied tonight. You hate that we couldn't come out of here with a win for him."
The duo's efforts was coupled with a stellar effort by the Eagles on the defensive end. C-N limited the league's best shooting team to 41.2 percent shooting, the Royals second worst shooting effort on the year. Secondly, the Eagles also clamped down on the Royals from beyond the arc. Queens had the fourth highest three-point shooting percentage in the country coming in. C-N limited them to a season-worst 3-of-22 effort from long range.
However, all those misses created second and third chances for the Royals. Queens outrebounded the Eagles 46-36 and were +11 on the offensive glass. Queens outscored C-N 25-7 on second chance points.
Additionally, when the Royals threes weren't falling, Queens made a concerted effort to get the ball inside. As a result, Queens got to the foul line a bunch. Queens went 22-for-32 at the stripe compared to a 10-of-16 effort at the line for the Eagles.
Carson-Newman used an 11-2 run to finish the first half to take a 41-.39 lead into the halftime locker room.
The teams were tied four times and swapped leads three times in the first six minutes of the second half before the Eagles made a move. The teams were tied at 52 with 14:55 to play when Teichmann and Rogers ignited the Eagles. Teichmann buried a pair of straight on threes and Rogers knocked a triple down from the left corner to alight the Eagles on a 9-2 run that gave C-N its largest lead of the game 61-54 with 12:44 to play.
However, that's when C-N went cold. The Eagles missed seven straight shots while Queens powered out a 12-2 run to retake the lead on a Daniel Carr layup at 5:10 left on the clock. Carr's bucket made the score 64-63. Queens wouldn't trail the rest of the way and knocked down free throws in the final minute to put the game on ice.
"I thought we had some good clean looks, the shots just didn't fall," Benson said. "Queens is a realy good defensive team. Malik got some good clean looks that didn't go down. Mason couldn't really get rolling. Those things happen. In hindsight, considering what we faced, we shot the ball relatively well. That's just part of it."
The loss is Carson-Newman's 11th straight against a nationally-ranked team and its eighth in-a-row to a top 10 team. Carson-Newman had been 5-3 against the top 10 under Chuck Benson until this recent swoon.
"Queens brings the heat, they bring the pressure," Benson said. "I thought our guys handled that well, especiallly in the first half. We always hope that you have a chance to win when it comes down to winning time in that under-four media timeout. The only thing we need to do different is win some 50-50 balls. I thought today was a good growth day. This week, these last two games we have definitely improved."
Carson-Newman went 28-for-60 from the field to shoot 47 percent, the third highest tally that Queens has allowed all year. C-N went 11-for-29 from distance to hit double-digit threes for a fifth time this year. The 11 threes are the third most Queens has allowed all year.
Shawn Willett and Daniel Carr paced Queens. Willett turned in his NCAA-leading 14th double-double with 24 points and 13 boards. Carr added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Lewis Diankulu rounded out the Royals double-digit scores with 13 points.
The Eagles' flummoxed Van Turner into an off night. The nation's fourth-best three-point shooter was 1-for-8 from long range. He came in shooting 48 percent from three and averaging more than 3.5 made triples per game.
Carson-Newman renews its annual rivalry game with Tusculum Wednesday. Tipoff with the Pioneers is set for 8 p.m. from Greeneville. Pregame coverage on the Eagles Sports Network starts at 7:45 p.m. with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.