Mendenhall, Williams carry Lady Eagles past Lenoir-Rhyne, 70-61

Mendenhall, Williams carry Lady Eagles past Lenoir-Rhyne, 70-61

HICKORY, N.C. — Senior guard Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) and junior forward Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) combined to score 47 points to lead the Carson-Newman women's basketball team to a 70-61 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne on Monday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference action at Shuford Gymnasium.

Mendenhall tied her career-high with 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Williams produced her fifth double-double of the season with 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Mendenhall, who is now seven points shy of 1,000 points for her career at C-N, was huge down the stretch, scoring 13 of C-N's final 21 points.

With the win, the Lady Eagles snap a five-game losing streak and improve to 6-10 on the season and 2-4 in the conference. Lenoir-Rhyne falls to 6-8 overall and 3-3 in SAC play. The win was C-N's first at Lenoir-Rhyne since Feb. 13, 2008.

C-N overcame 24 turnovers by shooting 44.6 percent (25-of-56) from the floor and holding the Bears to just 32.8 percent (22-of-67) shooting, including 0-of-9 from 3-point range. The Lady Eagles also dominated the boards, outrebounding Lenoir-Rhyne 49-38.

Sophomore forward Courdne Miles (Burlington, N.C.), freshman Shannon Depew (Newport, Tenn.) and senior Katlin Moore (Fort Mill, S.C.) tossed in six points apiece for C-N. Miles and Depew also had nine and six rebounds, respectively.

Caroline Laughter (Hickory, N.C.) paced Lenoir-Rhyne with 16 points, while Cameron Sealey (Mount Holly, N.C.) and Precious Elkins (Conyers, Ga.) each had 13 points in the loss.

The first half was closely contested, as the teams played through eight ties and five lead changes. The Lady Eagles got off to a strong start, building an 11-5 lead on a three-point play by Williams with 14:22 left.

The Bears scrapped back with a 10-2 run capped off by an Alexis Katt (Euharlee, Ga.) putback at the 9:22 mark that gave Lenoir-Rhyne a 15-13 advantage.

C-N regained the lead two minutes later on a layup by Williams, and the teams battled through five more ties and four more lead changes before a 3-pointer by Megan Hunter (Ashland City, Tenn.) gave C-N a 28-25 lead with 52 seconds remaining.

The Lady Eagles held a slim 30-26 lead heading into the locker room despite outshooting the Bears 48.1 percent to 22.9 percent for the half. C-N committed 17 turnovers in the half to help Lenoir-Rhyne's cause.

C-N never relinquished its lead in the second half despite the Bears tying the game on three occasions. Lenoir-Rhyne's Whitney Brinkley (Asheville, N.C.) made a layup with 5:53 remaining to knot things at 49-49, but the Lady Eagles went on a 19-8 run to seal the win.

The Lady Eagles return to the hardwood on Wednesday in a SAC matchup at Mars Hill. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.