NEWBERRY, S.C. - Leanne Watson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) scored a career high 23 points as she lifted the Newberry College women's basketball team to a 65-61 defeat of Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
The win is the third straight South Atlantic Conference win for Newberry (15-9, 10-6 SAC) which now sits a third place in the SAC.
After playing to a first half draw, 29-29, Newberry took a commanding lead with four straight buckets to start the second half, putting the Wolves up eight on Carson-Newman (11-15, 7-9 SAC) to kick off the half.
The Wolves eventually kicked up the volume to a 16-point lead over the Eagles with 11:35 to go after a Keisha Henderson (Columbia, S.C.) layup. But a cold spell from the field brought Carson-Newman within six with a pair of Cassie Bates (Fremont, Calif.) free throws at the 2:42 mark, threatening the Newberry lead.
Helen McKinney (Owensboro, Ky.) then hit a clutch triple, her third of the game, to put the Wolves back up by nine with 2:16 to go. But the Eagles weren't done yet. Freshman Shannon Depew (Newport, Tenn.) knocked in a jumper followed by a pair of Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) free throws to bring the lead back down to seven. The Wolves then missed a free throw and committed a crucial turnover, giving the Eagles possession. Katlin Moore (Fort Mill, S.C.) eventually hit a three-pointer but it was not enough as time expired, giving Newberry the win.
Watson led both teams with her 23 points, going 8-of-15 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. The senior also had a team high eight rebounds. McKinney was the only other Newberry player in double digits with 13 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Jessica Bearzatto (Melbourne, Australia) had nine assists and three steals as well during the contest.
Senior Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) finished with 22 points to pace the Lady Eagles, while Depew added 11 points.
The Wolves outscored the Carson-Newman bench 38-11.
The Lady Eagles return to action on Wednesday at Lincoln Memorial. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
(Courtesy of Newberry Sports Information)