Eagles smash glass, overwhelm Owls 99-70

Eagles smash glass, overwhelm Owls 99-70

VIDEO: Highlights

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

VIDEO: EJ Bush Interview

VIDEO: Luke Brenegan Interview 

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (4-4) grabbed the fourth most boards in a single game in program history to take a wire-to-wire 99-70 win from Warren Wilson (0-7) Wednesday night in Holt Fieldhouse. 

Carson-Newman smashed the boards to outrebound the Owls 57-32.  The 57 rebounds are the fourth most in school history.  The Eagles had a 23-10 edge on the offensive glass.  It marks the second game this year C-N has had a +20 or greater rebounding edge, however, C-N hasn't had a 25-rebound edge in a game since outrebound Brevard by 32, 51-19 in a 102-55 win on Feb. 24, 2016.  It registers as the second largest rebounding margin of Chuck Benson's decade-long tenure as the head coach at Mossy Creek.

"Some of that goes back to our defensive efforts," Benson said. "We were able to get them to take shots that weren't necessarily high percentage shots for their personnel.  We were doing a good job of getting those defensive boards.  Then, our guys are becoming more and more committed to going to the offensive glass. That's a way for us to get more possessions and shot opportunities.  That's a way for us to make opponents make irrational decisions."

The contest featured dueling double-doubles for the Eagles for the first time since March 1, 2017.  Reece Anderson (Douglasville, Ga.) procured C-N's second double-double with points and assists of the last 12 years with 11 points and 12 assists. Anderson joined Grant Teichmann as the only Eagles to produce double-doubles for points and assists in the last 12 years. 

"Reece did a really nice job of getting into the paint," Benson said. "He's fast, quick and athletic. When he got in there, help really collapsed on him.  He got it out of there and found good looks for our team.  A double-double that way is a major accomplishment.  He also knows it doesn't happen without guys knocking shots down the other end of those passes. He is appreciative of that."

Meanwhile EJ Bush (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) logged his third double-double of the year with 12 points and 11 boards.  He was 3-for-6 from the field and 6-for-8 at the line.  He had three offensive boards and eight defensive rebounds. 

The Eagles bounced out of the gates on a 10-2 run and never looked back in the win.  C-N was off and running with back-to-back fast break buckets from Reece Anderson (Douglasville, Ga.) and Luke Brenegan (Greenville, S.C.) before Brenegan capped the run with a layup and a transition triple in a 20 second span. 

Warren Wilson would get within three after an 8-0 run cut the deficit to 32-29 with 4:27 to play in the first half on a pair of Brent Davis free throws, but that would be as close as the Owls would get.  C-N held Warren Wilson without a bucket for the final four minutes of the half while closing the period on a 12-0 run to take a 44-29 lead into the halftime locker room.

Kaleb Wallace (Atlanta, Ga.) sparked the surge with the first five points on a three and a driving layin, before Cam Andre (Kissimmee, Fla.) put the cherry on the run with an uncontested finger roll off a smooth bounce pass from Anderson. 

A 15-2 second half surge built the bulge past 20 points on successive threes by Jaylan McGill (Charlotte, N.C.) and Brenegan with 6:12 to play.  Warren Wilson closed the game the same way it closed the first half, by going without a buck for the final 4:16 of the contest.

"We really challenged them to have a pride in controlling our controllables," Benson said. "With finals being upon us, it's tough.  When you get to finals week, guys start getting extra stressed and going crazy. Despite that, we had to lock in.  I reminded them of that at halftime.  I think we delivered a bit better after halftime."

Aside from Anderson and Bush, C-N had three other players finish in double figures.  Brenegan led Carson-Newman in scoring for the first time in his career with 21, also a career high for Brenegan.  He was efficient from long range, knocking down 5-of-9 threes.  He also had a career-best seven boards. 

McGill added in 12 points while Dima Bykov (Moscow, Russia) topped double digits for a third straight game with 10 in an efficient 13 minutes.

Carson-Newman shot 45.6 percent from the field for the game, and 33 percent from the three on a season-high 39 attempts.  The Eagles were far more efficient in the second half than the first, shooting 57 percent from the field (20-for-35) and 38.9 percent from long range (7-for-18). 

While the Eagles surged in the second half, the Owls swooned.  Hampered by finishing 1-for-11 from the field, Warren Wilson was held to 37.1 percent shooting for the game.  The Owls were 7-for-23 from long distance. 

Carson-Newman handed out a season-high 26 assists on 36 made baskets. C-N shared the ball exceptionally well in transition.  Carson-Newman outscored the Owls on the fast break 28-6.  Nine of the Eagles' 26 dime drops came in transition. 

Davis paced Warren Wilson with a game-high 24 points. He was an efficient 9-of-14 from the field and 3-for-4 from three.  O'Darius Cade added in 16 on volume shots. He was 6-for-16 from the floor.  C-N limited 20-point per game scorer Jerry Daye to half his season average.  Daye finished with 10 on 4-of-13 shooting.  Trey Brown rounded out the Owls double-digit scorers with 12. 

Carson-Newman hits the road for the first time in more than a month to challenge Anderson Saturday. Tipoff from the Electric City is at 4 p.m. Coverage of the game will be available on the Eagle Sports Network on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live starting 15 minutes prior to gametime with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff.