HARROGATE, Tenn. - The Carson-Newman Lady Eagles basketball team (13-9, 7-8 South Atlantic Conference) fell 64-62 in overtime to the LMU Lady Railsplitters (14-11, 7-8 South Atlantic Conference) at Tex Turner Arena on Wednesday evening.
The Lady Eagles led at halftime 28-21, before the Lady Railsplitters rallied back to even the score at 53 at the end of regulation. Lincoln Memorial outscored Carson-Newman 11-9 in overtime to pick up the two-point victory.
"I would've liked a better performance out of our kids tonight," said Carson-Newman head coach Mike Mincey. "Nobody wants to lose, and I think they want to win but I feel like right now we're not getting the effort we need out of them. We'll keep trucking away at it and continue to work and try to improve some of these things that have been negatives for us all year."
The loss means the schools split the season series, and the Lady Eagles have now lost four of their last five games.
Carson-Newman was led in scoring once again by freshman Tatum Burstom (Maryville, Tenn.) with her 12 points, and she was joined in double figures by senior Nikki James (Cookeville, Tenn.) with her 10 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Jai Jai McLaughlin (Knoxville, Tenn.) nearly collected a double-double with her nine points and nine rebounds.
After LMU began the game on an 8-4 run, the Lady Eagles went on a 15-0 run to lead 19-8 with 5:13 remaining in the first half. The Lady Railsplitters nearly went 10 minutes without a field goal, allowing Carson-Newman to build a large lead, and the Lady Eagles took a seven-point lead into the locker room.
LMU began the second half on a hot start to cut Carson-Newman's lead to five points. The Lady Eagles answered with a 7-0 run to lead 41-29 with 13:39 to play. The next largest lead for Carson-Newman was 47-41 with 8:15 to play, but the Lady Railsplitters went on a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to take the lead at 53-49 with 2:31 to play.
After McLaughlin got the Lady Eagles to within three with a foul shot, McLaughlin grabbed a rebound and then passed to Burstrom who knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing to even the score at 53 with 1:15 to play. Neither team scored in the remainder of regulation, forcing the Lady Eagles into only their second overtime contest of the season.
The Lady Eagles outscored LMU 6-3 to begin the overtime, only to see the Lady Railsplitters outscore Carson-Newman 6-3 over the final 1:43 to win by two points. LMU's MaRanda Boddie was the top scorer and she collected a double-double with her 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Carson-Newman will next play at home on Saturday Feb. 23 against Anderson inside Holt Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. Coverage of the game is available on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network, beginning with the Farm Bureau Countdown to Tipoff at 1:45 p.m. and the broadcast is also available on www.cneagles.com.