JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (10-7, 3-7 South Atlantic Conference) takes aim at a 16th consecutive regular season non-conference win when Johnson C. Smith (3-10, 1-6 CIAA) makes the trek to Holt Fieldhouse Monday at 7 p.m.
To accomplish that feat, the Eagles will need to beat the Golden Bulls at home for the first time in 15 years.
"We both have a 48 hour turnaround," head coach Chuck Benson said. "We have to be extra motivated. In my tenure here, we've never beaten them here at home. There's a lot of reasons why we should be motivated to perform at a high level Monday."
Carson-Newman is looking for its first home win against Johnson C. Smith since Jan. 6, 2004. Two of the Eagles three wins in the series against the Golden Bulls have come in Holt. The other was a 77-66 win for C-N when the Eagles were hosts of the Atlantic Regional in 2002. The Eagles are 0-2 against JCSU under Chuck Benson in Holt.
Carson-Newman is looking to finish a second straight 8-0 run through non-conference play. Carson-Newman hadn't completed an unbeaten run through non-conference action since moving to Division II in 1992 prior to last season. Now the Eagles have won 15 straight regular season non-conference games and are looking for 16 consecutive wins.
"We have to learn to build from wins," senior guard Grant Teichmann (Brentwood, Tenn.) said. "That's something we've struggled with since our 5-0 start. We have to stay locked in and build on our win from Newberry. We need to come out and play as a team for 40 minutes Monday night."
The Eagles are 4-0 in Monday games under head coach Chuck Benson. The Eagles haven't played on a Monday since winning at Queens 87-62 on Feb. 23, 2015.
Johnson C. Smith is just 1-6 away from Brayboy Gym. The Golden Bulls have lost four straight on the road and are looking for their first road win since a 70-68 triumph in Banner Elk, N.C. against Lees-McRae on Nov. 29.
The Golden Bulls have struggled offensively after the graduations of Christian Kirchman and Robert Davis. The Bulls average 69 points per game, second to last in the CIAA. The Golden Bulls have the CIAA's worst shooting offense (39.8 percent) and are their league's second worst three-point shooting team (31.2 percent).
Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) and Malik Abraham (Snellville, Ga.) are both on the 1,000-point watch for their careers at Carson-Newman. Bates sits at 930 career points. Abraham has 925. They are seeking to become the 27th and 28th 1,000-point scorers in C-N men's basketball program history.
Johnson C. Smith has produced two legendary Harlem Globetrotters. Curly Neal graduated from the Charlotte-based college in 1962 while Twiggy Sanders followed in 1974. Neal, who played with the Globetrotters for 22 seasons, is one of six individuals to have a jersey retired by the organization. Neal averaged 23.1 points per game in his Golden Bull career and was an All-CIAA selection.
Tipoff between the Eagles and Golden Bulls is set for 7 p.m. Monday. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 6:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.