C-N alters record book, stiff-arms Newberry in wire-to-wire 112-105 win

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

VIDEO: Highlights

VIDEO: Malik Abraham Interview

VIDEO: Grant Teichmann Interview

VIDEO: Luke Brenegan Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (10-7, 3-7 South Atlantic Conference) built a 27-point lead behind a record-book altering performance before fending off a furious Newberry (5-10, 1-7 SAC) rally with a 112-105 win over the Wolves Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse. 

The Eagles made 18 threes on 46 attempts and dished out 33 assists on 42 made baskets.  The 46 threes attempted are a school record. The 18 threes made are tied for the second most in school history. Meanwhile, the 33 assists register as the second most for a single-game in program history. 

The 42 made field goals are the sixth highest single-game total in school history. 

"Our guys were moving the ball and taking open shots," head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "I would venture a guess that 43 of those 46 shots were truly clean looks. We told our guys that they were going to get looks so take those shots with confidence.  That's what they did tonight.  They took shots and made them with confidence."

Six Eagles finished in double-figures and three posted career nights.  Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) matched his career high of 26 points for a fourth time.   He went 11-for-17 from the field and 4-of-10 from three. Teichmann also handed out six assists. 

Luke Brenegan (Greenville, S.C.) and Brendan Coleman (Johnson City, Tenn.) also turned in career outings.  Brenegan matched his career high for scoring with 14 points.  He knocked down 4-of-8 shots from beyond the arc.  Brenegan also logged new career bests for rebounds, five, and assists, six. 

Coleman nearly chased down his first career double-double, but he did finish with his first ever double-digit scoring effort with 10 points and a career-high eight rebounds. 

"We needed that from them, especially with Mason being out," Benson said. "We need guys to be threatening on the offensive end.  I think guys are getting more experience and confidence.  As we start the second journey through conference play, more than ever we need it."

Malik Abraham (Snellville, Ga.), Nick Rogers (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Parker Role' (Atlanta, Ga.) rounded out C-N's double-digit scorers.  Abraham led the Eagles from beyond the arc. He was 5-for-12 from long range to come within a point of his season high.  He had 17.  Abraham matched his season-high by dropping four dimes.

Rogers knocked down 3-of-7 shots from distance and finished 5-of-9 from the floor to end with 13 points. 

Role' logged his 10th career double-digit day with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. 

Carson-Newman had the hot hand in the early going.  C-N knocked down 70 percent of its shots in the first 12 minutes of the game as it surged to a big lead.  The Eagles were up double digits four minutes in behind a 15-4 opener to the game.

Teichmann and Rogers buried back-to-back threes before Brenegan stripped the Wolves Marquis Collins for a coast-to-coast lay-in that helped the Eagles collect the double-digit advantage early. 

The Eagles compounded on it five minutes later with a 12-0 run that put C-N up 43-16 with 8:45 to play.  Blake Ervin (Maryville, Tenn.) and Rogers drilled triples sandwiched around a Reece Anderson (Douglasville, Ga.) fast break slam. 

However, the Wolves slowly began to whittle away at the deficit.  Free throws helped the Wolves. Newberry made 17-of-21 freebies in the first half to make up for a 2-of-13 effort from long range and an 11-of-29 ledger from the field. 

The teams' hot hands switched in the second half.  After the Eagles knocked down 12-of-24 first half threes, C-N was 6-for-22 from long distance in the second half.  Meanwhile, the Wolves went 12-for-22 from beyond the arc after halftime after only making 15.4 percent of their threes in the first half. 

"This is what happens when you play Newberry," head coach Chuck Benson said. "There is neither a lead too large to protect, nor a lead large enough to overcome.  Newberry is never going to stop. They play that way for 40 minutes. I would have been more surprised if we had taken that 27 point lead and expanded on it in the second half.  I'm more pleased by our guy's ability to finish it out the right way."

The Wolves surged straight out of the gates to start the second half.  Newberry used a 17-7 run to trim the Eagles' advantage down to eight, 73-65 with an Angelo Sales layup with 12:37 to spare.  However, the Eagles answered that run with a flurry of their own.  C-N tallied an 11-2 run to push the bulge back to 17 in just 77 seconds. 

Role' keyed a chunk of the run, hitting two fast break buckets and feeding Rogers for a three.  Grant Teichmann finished the run with a triple with 10:51 to play. 

However, Newberry wouldn't go quietly into the night.  The Wolves made seven consecutive threes.  A 23-13 run got the lead down to six with two minutes to play.  After going 0-for-6 to start from beyond the arc, Luke Gibson keyed a chunk of the spurt for the Wolves. He knocked down his final five shots from beyond the arc.  His three with 47 seconds left pulled Newberry within four, 109-105.

The Wolves elected to not foul.  C-N went to a four corners look that opened things up for Teichmann.  The senior drove and kicked to Abraham on the wing for a three that would ice the game and get C-N a 112-105 win, the Eagles' 14th in 16 tries against the Wolves. 

"They decided not to foul so we went spread to try to run down the shotclock," Teichmann said. "They were pressuring, so I just wanted to get by my guy and not get a charge.  I saw both Nick (Rogers) and Malik. Nick was in the corner, Malik on the wing. Malik was the easier pass.  I threw it to him and he was able to knock it down."

Carson-Newman made its final seven shots down the stretch to collect the win. 

"I think we kept our poise," Benson said. "We stayed focused on getting higher percentage shots and the shots we wanted. The biggest shot was the three by Malik in front of the bench.  Grant trusted him and Malik nailed it.  That was the punch that did it."

Teichmann's assist was the final of the 33 on the night for the Eagles.  That tally is made more remarkable when considering that Newberry entered the contest tops in the league with 17 turnovers forced per game. The Eagles only coughed it up nine times on the day and just twice after halftime. 

"They were really intentional about their passes, their catches and took nothing for granted," Benson said. "I have to big-time brag on them for their performance in that regard.  Their ability to have a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, I couldn't be more pleased about that."

The nine turnovers are the second fewest by the Eagles this year and their lowest mark against Newberry since Chuck Benson took over as head coach at the start of the 2010 season.  In fact, since Benson took over, the Eagles have had only one game against the frenetic Wolves with less than 15 turnovers. 

Marshall Lange led Newberry with 30 points.  He was 7-for-13 from the floor and 15-of-16 at the charity stripe.  Sales added in 21 points for the Wolves. 

The high-octane game featured a combined 48 fast break points.  The Eagles had 25 and the Wolves 23.

Carson-Newman has a 48-hour turnaround before taking on Johnson C. Smith Monday at 7 p.m.  Tipoff with the Golden Bulls is set for 7 p.m. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 6:45 p.m. with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.