Eagles earn first SAC win against Wingate

VIDEO: Highlights from C-N vs. Wingate

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

VIDEO: Dima Bykov Interview

VIDEO: Reece Anderson Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, TENN. – Senior guard Reece Anderson (Douglasville, Ga.) finished with a season-high 20 points, adding four rebounds and a pair of assists in a 92-78 South Atlantic Conference victory for Carson-Newman.

Four players would finish the contest in double figures, with junior guard Kamil Chapman (Charlotte, N.C.) posting a season-high 16 points, junior center Dmitrii Bykov (Moscow, Russia) tying a season-high with 15 points and junior guard Jaylan McGill (Charlotte, N.C.) ending in double-figures for the fourth time this season with 11.

It is the first SAC win this season for the Eagles (3-4, 1-1 SAC). For the Bulldogs (4-3, 0-2 SAC) a 4-0 start to begin the year has been met by a three-game losing skid, respectively.

"I'm really happy for them," head coach Chuck Benson said postgame. "It's their first conference win and a much-needed win for confidence purposes."

C-N opened the contest on an 18-4 run with three-pointers made by Chapman, Bykov and McGill accounting for half of the total before the under-16 timeout. The Eagles would finish the night shooting 11-of-25 from three-point range, a 44 percent mark.

A response from the Bulldogs came in the late stages of the first half, with a three from Frances Sio putting Wingate ahead 38-35 at the 3:18 mark of the first half. Sio would finish the game with seven points.

A thunderous dunk by Wingate's Rashaard Pringle sent the Bulldog bench into a roar with seconds left in the first half. It was C-N's Zailan Peeler (Charlotte, N.C.) who would muzzle the opposition and send the Eagles into a screech to end the half – a 30-foot three to finish the scoring at 43-42 in favor of the home squad.

In small increments, C-N's lead was able to balloon to a comfortable double-digit advantage by the midpoint of the second half. A pair of threes knocked down by McGill and Chapman with eight minutes remaining put the Eagles up 75-61 and in firm control of the winning side.

A flurry of fouls got both sides into trouble, but it was C-N who attempted a season-high 40 free-throws as a team to outpace Wingate's 27 respectively. Reece Anderson, a career 62 percent shooter from the line, knocked down 8-of-10 shots at the stripe. Postgame, Anderson said that it was practice that has bettered him.  

"We've been talking about how we've been one of the worst free-throw shooting teams we've ever had here," Anderson said. "Obviously, I've been a part of that, so I've been working on my free-throws a lot frequently in practice."

Bykov, coming off of his second-straight start, has already surpassed his start total from his sophomore campaign. The Russian, nicknamed Dima, has taken advantage of the opportunity, producing six rebounds against Wingate to complement two steals and a block.

"It's something I've been waiting for, for a while now," Bykov said on the expanded role. "It's my third year playing, my fourth year in school and it's about time."

With the win, C-N snaps a two-game losing streak and ends the month of November on a positive note.

The Eagles will be back at Holt Fieldhouse Wednesday, Dec. 4 when C-N faces Warren Wilson. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.