Mincey said to get the first win was a welcomed relief. "We had a rough go in our exhibition season with games against Tennessee and North Carolina. We have been on the other end of a game like this. I was really proud of the girls as they came out and really played hard. That was the biggest thing as I wanted them to play hard, run the floor and get some easy baskets and I think we did that."
Former Cocke County stand-out Shannon Depew led all scorers as she finished the game with 21 points. She also added eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals. Whitney Moody and Jessica Azor each had 14 points for Carson-Newman. Macy Kilgore was the only Lady Lion that finished the game in double figures as she netted 17 points for the visitors from Dayton.
"We had not had a lot of production from our one, two and three positions in the exhibition games so to see our outside players have some production was certainly good to see. Whitney has all the ability in the world to knock down some shots from the perimeter so I think this will give our team some confidence going forward," Mincey said.
Carson-Newman dominated the statistics against the smaller Lady Lions. C-N shot 51% (39-of-77) from the field and out-rebounded Bryan 51-28 which included 25-11 on the offensive boards. The Lady Eagles defense was just as impressive as the offense as they forced 36 turnovers by Bryan with 18 coming off steals. C-N held a 57-8 margin in points in the paint and 28-6 in second-chance points. Mincey said the rebounding was a difference. "Heading into this game, that was something I thought we could exploit them on the offensive glass."
The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 12-2 lead on a layup by Nikki James five minutes into the contest. The Lions would come back to pull to within four points at 14-10 on a three-pointer by Sara Barnett. But that would the closest they would get the rest of the game as C-N exploded for a 53-29 halftime lead by shooting 49% (21-of-43) from the field in the first 20 minutes of the contest. The Lady Eagles' biggest lead was 45 points when James had a basket at the 9:24 mark of the second half.
Monday's game was the first of four over the next seven days for Carson-Newman. After a 2 p.m. Wednesday game against King at home, the Lady Eagles host two Top 10 teams in a home tournament this weekend. Fifth-ranked Delta State and 10th-ranked Lander visit Holt Field House Saturday and Sunday.