JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Junior forward Whitney Moody's (Blountville, Tenn.) career high 20 points helped Carson-Newman build a 24-point second half lead, eventually holding off a late comeback to beat visiting Wingate, 71-66, in South Atlantic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in Holt Fieldhouse.
Moody made 4-of-7 three-point attempts and grabbed five rebounds to spark the Lady Eagles to their fourth SAC win in five games. With the win, C-N moves to 12-8 on the year and 6-6 in SAC play. Wingate falls to 13-7 overall and 7-5 in the league.
The Lady Eagles pounded the boards, outrebounding Wingate 49-32, including 21 offensive rebounds, in the win. They also shot 84 percent (32-of-38) at the line.
C-N controlled the first half with its defense, holding Wingate to just two field goals in the game's first 14 minutes. Wingate was 6-of-27 (22 percent) from the floor in the first half as C-N built a 37-19 halftime lead.
Sophomore forward Shannon Depew (Newport, Tenn.) had 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half and Moody added 12 points as the Lady Eagles built an 18-point lead at the break.
After trailing by 24 points with 14:49 to play, the Bulldogs battled back to trim the lead to 14 (50-36), with a shade over 10 minutes to play. A jumper by senior forward Simone Rutledge (Atlanta, Ga.) with 7:26 to go brought Wingate to within nine, the first time the Carson-Newman lead had been within single digits since the 12:26 mark of the first half.
The Lady Eagles pushed the advantage back to double digits on their next possession and held at least an eight-point advantage until a jumper by sophomore guard Nikki Burton (Charlotte, N.C.) at the 3:58 mark gave the home team a 58-52 buffer.
Wingate cut the Carson-Newman advantage to four after a four-point play with 58 seconds to go. Burton made a jump shot and junior forward Tish Logan (Suitland, Md.) made both of her free throws after C-N was called from a four away from the ball.
After freshman guard Jade Montgomery (Monroe, N.C.) picked up her first foul on the inbounds pass, C-N sophomore guard Dye made both free throws to push the lead back to six. Seven seconds later, the Bulldogs cut the lead back to four with a Burton lay-up.
Dye was again fouled by Montgomery, this time with 34 seconds to go, with Dye making both shots. Dye made one of two free throws with 18 seconds to go, but the Bulldogs didn't throw in the towel. Wingate junior guard Janitsha Williams (Statesville, N.C.) hit a three- pointer with 13 seconds left to bring the 'Dogs to within four. Dye was fouled by Burton and converted on both free throws.
Wingate pulled to within three after a three pointer by freshman guard Kelli Bonner (Yadkinville, N.C.) with six seconds to play. The Eagles were able to burn five seconds off the clock before Montgomery fouled Depew with less than a second to play, sending Depew to the line. Depew hit both of her free throws to finish 11-of-12 from the line and give the Eagles their fourth win in their last five contests. Dye made nine of 12 free throws, with all of her makes coming in the final 1:09.
Moody's 20 points were a game high. Senior forward Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) added 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Depew matched her double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.
Burton and Williams each scored 14 points for the Bulldogs. Senior guards Tiffany Brown (Cartersville, Ga.) and Kurie Washington (Marion, N.C.) contributed 13 and 12 points respectively.
Carson-Newman will host Tusculum on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Holt Fieldhouse. Wingate begins a two-game homestand on Wednesday, welcoming rival Lenoir-Rhyne to Cuddy Arena at 6 p.m.