HICKORY, N.C. – The Lenoir-Rhyne Bears (7-13, 6-10 South Atlantic Conference) never trailed as they held on for a 68-62 victory over the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles (15-7, 9-7 SAC) Saturday afternoon at Shuford Gymnasium.
Turnovers was the story of the first half as Lenoir-Rhyne scored scored 17 points off of 12 Carson-Newman turnovers to take a 42-28 lead heading into the locker room. The Bears also capitalized on second chance attempts by tallying 15 second chance points on 10 offensive rebounds.
"I know we got back in the game, but we dug ourselves a hole in the first half," head coach Mike Mincey said. "That's where we lost the game. The kids were ready and had a good mindset. We come out and don't have nearly the energy in the first half as we had in the second half."
Junior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.) led the Lady Eagles in scoring with nine points on 3 of 4 shooting. Conversely, Jenni Gust had 14 points and four steals for Lenoir-Rhyne.
Neither side could convert to start the second half as Lenoir-Rhyne held a 49-36 lead with 15:15 to play in the game. Carson-Newman responded with an 8-1 run to close the gap to six points with 9:52 to play in the contest.
The Bears never led by double figures again in the game as the Lady Eagles continued to play tough and chipped away at the deficit. Trailing by nine with 3:07 to play in the game, Carson-Newman went on a 9-3 run to make it a three-point game at 63-60 with 32 seconds to play in the game.
Jenni Gust made 1 of 2 at the free throw line, but an offensive rebound by Jordan Hiatt and a pair of free tosses stretched the lead back to six with 29 seconds to play.
"We just aren't doing the little things right now as a basketball team that we were doing," Mincey said. "I know we have injuries, but we can still do those little things whether it is boxing out and getting a rebound off of a free throw or taking care of the basketball."
Burstrom led the way for Carson-Newman with 11 points, three assists and three steals while senior forward Jasmine Poole (Harrisburg, Pa.) tallied 10 points and five rebounds.
Lenoir-Rhyne won the battle on the boards 42-28 as four players scored in double digits. Jazmine Charles led the way with 21 points, 13 of which came in the second half, seven rebounds and five assists. Gust finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals. Hiatt had 11 points while Brooke Robinson had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Eagles will try to put a halt to a four-game losing streak Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse when the Brevard Tornados come to town for a 6 p.m. tip-off. Pregame coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. with "The AEC Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station 106.3 WPFT-FM or in high definition at cneagles.com/live.
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