Newberry Game Notes
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (14-13, 7-12 South Atlantic Conference) will be looking to lock up an eighth consecutive winning season when the Eagles wrap up the regular season Saturday at Newberry (10-14, 5-14 SAC) with a 4 p.m. tipoff at Eleazer Arena.
Carson-Newman has enjoyed a success under head coach Chuck Benson it hasn't enjoyed since the 1960s and 70s. It's the longest such streak for the program since 17 straight winning seasons from 1959-1976.
The Eagles were in a similar position in 2014-15. Carson-Newman had just lost by 30 to Lincoln Memorial in the penultimate game of the regular season to fall to 14-13. The Eagles had a senior day contest with Newberry with an eye on clinching a winning season. C-N pulled it off with an 87-82 win in Holt, then rattled off three more wins to win a SAC tournament title.
"We've taken some time to get some rest and get healthy," head coach Chuck Benson said. "We really were unhealthy going into the Queens game. This isn't really a game that requires a ton of preparation. Newberry brings such a unique scheme and style, and our guys have played against that. I'm sure Newberry will be excited to capitalize on the very last game that they'll play this season."
Carson-Newman has already clinched the eight seed for the league tournament. Carson-Newman will take on top-seed and regular season champion Queens in the opening round March 6 at Curry Arena in Charlotte.
Carson-Newman has dominated the series of late against the Wolves. C-N has taken 14 of the last 16 meetings between the two teams. Carson-Newman has won seven of the last eight as well. Five of those victories have been by double digits and an average margin of 21 points. In those five wins, C-N hasn't shot worse than 55 percent from the field. In fact, the Eagles are averaging 61 percent shooting on the Wolves in those five games and 106.6 points per contest. Carson-Newman has put up at least 100 points on the Wolves in five of their last seven games.
In the first meeting this year, C-N reconfigured its record books. 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.
Newberry lives by the long ball. The Wolves have attempted a leaguebest 849 threes. That's the fourth most in the country. Newberry has knocked down 284 triples and 10.9 a game. They rank in the top 15 in the country and second in the SAC in both regards. The Wolves have hit double-digit threes in 15 games this year. Newberry has gone for more than 15 in a game twice, the Wolves matched a school record with 22 in a win over Coker and knocked down 17 in a loss to Wingate.
The Wolves snapped a four-game losing streak Wednesday with a riveting 92-89 triumph over Coker thanks in large part to Angelo Sales.
Sales Jr. had poured in a career-high 42 points along with 11 rebounds for the best double-double of his career, shooting 13-18 from the floor and 5-7 from long range. He also hit a career-high 11 free throws on 15 attempts.
His 42-point effort is the highest-scoring single-game output in the South Atlantic Conference this season, as well as moving him into the top-10 of the SAC's highest-scoring single games ever.
It was the highest-scoring single game in Newberry program history since at least the 1994-95 season.
Tipoff between Carson-Newman and Newberry is set for 4 p.m. Saturday. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 3:45 p.m. with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.