JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – When Carson-Newman (12-10, 5-9 South Atlantic Conference) makes the trek over to Anderson, S.C. to take on the Anderson Trojans (13-10, 7-8 SAC), the Eagles will be looking to accomplish a couple of things for the first time in two month.
Carson-Newman will be looking for its first back-to-back wins since downing Fort Valley State on Dec. 8 and Coker Dec. 15. That contest against the Cobras also represents Carson-Newman's last road victory. Since beating Coker 78-62, the Eagles have dropped four consecutive away from Holt Fieldhouse. The win over Coker is Carson-Newman's lone league road win this season.
"Our guys will be extra motivated," head coach Chuck Benson said. "Anderson is a very good team and they're veterans. We know on a Wednesday night down there, it'll be a packed house and there will be a lot of electricity in the air."
The Eagles last dropped four straight road games in 2011-12 before breaking the skid, 64-61 at No. 3 Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 25, 2012. Carson-Newman last lost five straight road games during Chuck Benson's first year as C-N's head coach to close the year.
To stop that skid, Carson-Newman will have to contend with a Trojans club that gets one of the best home court boosts in the SAC.
No team in the SAC enjoys a better boost from playing at home than Anderson. The Trojans are 9-3 inside the Abney Center and 4-6 away from their friendly confines. AU averages 7.3 points per game more at home than on the road while shooting 47.1 percent from the field inside the Abney and 42.5 percent outside of it.
The Trojans are paced by Gage Ellis. The league's fourth-leading scorer averages 18.5 points per game. Ellis has scored in double figures every game this season with the exception of a six-point effort four games ago in a 68-66 win at Tusculum. He has 10, 20-point games this year and exploded for 37 in a two-overtime loss to Lincoln Memorial in the Abney Center.
Meanwhile, Malik Abraham (Snellville, Ga.) needs just two more points to become Carson-Newman men's basketball's 28th career 1,000-point scorer. Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) joined the club with a hook shot early in the second half against Coker.
Abraham has caught fire over these last seven contests for Carson-Newman. The senior sharpshooter has knocked down 4.13 threes per game over that stretch while shooting from range at a 45.3 percent clip. Abraham has 232 career threes. Abraham needs to hit 28 more triples to catch former teammate Charles Clark (259) for second all-time in program history.
Carson-Newman is looking to win an eighth consecutive game against the Trojans. Something that neither team has done in the series' history. The Eagles' current seven-game winning streak is C-N's second longest active win streak against a SAC foe (C-N has won nine straight against Coker)
Tipoff between the Eagles and Trojans is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday. Pregame coverage starts at 7:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.