Late shutdown defense leads Lady Eagles to 57-50 win

Late shutdown defense leads Lady Eagles to 57-50 win

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

VIDEO: Kailyn Brooks Interview

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carson-Newman Lady Eagles (17-9, 11-9 South Atlantic Conference) held the Queens (N.C.) Royals (5-20, 3-17 SAC) scoreless for 6:08 in the second half while using a 9-0 run to pull away for a 57-50 victory at Curry Arena Wednesday night.

"We came out to start the second half and did a good job of scoring the ball," coach Mike Mincey said. "They were turning it over and not getting a whole lot. We had to get it done on the defensive end and we had a group in there that played really well together. They got some stops and in turn we scored a little bit."

Carson-Newman led 24-23 at halftime as each team shot 38 percent from the floor in the opening half. The Lady Eagles led by as many as seven points, but Queens scored the final five points of the half to pull within one at the break.

Queens took the rebounding battle in the first half 24-12 while corralling nine offensive boards and converting that into six second chance points. Carson-Newman went 4-for-9 from the free throw line in the first half.

All eight Lady Eagles to play in the first half scored led by five points from senior forward Whitney Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.).

Carson-Newman came out of the locker room scorching making 4 of its first six shots while using a 7-0 spurt to take a 35-27 advantage. It was a lead that the Lady Eagles held for the majority of the remainder of the game, but Queens used an 11-3 run to tie the score at 42 with 6:53 to play in the game.

At that point, the Carson-Newman defense shut the Royals down. Queens wouldn't score a bucket until there was 45 seconds to play in the game.

Steals and layups by sophomore Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) and freshman Allison Hodge (Blaine, Tenn.) jumpstarted a 9-0 run to take a 51-42 lead with 1:11 to play.

"We weren't going to get in a hurry," Mincey said. "It was really uncharacteristic of our basketball team to not play up-tempo. The steal by Brooks was huge and the steal by Hodge was big. Those plays may have won us the game."

A jumper from Sheridan Pressley with 45 seconds to play in the game ended the drought, but Brooks made 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch to get preserve the victory.

"It was really important because it was obvious we made a lot of mistakes late," Brooks said. "If I hadn't made those free throws, it could have been a lot closer so I was glad I could come in and make those."

Brooks led all scorers with 17 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Junior forward Taylor Peterson (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) was the lone other double figure scorer for Carson-Newman with 12 points and four rebounds.

Lacey Singletary led the Royals with 12 points, four rebounds and four blocks while Pressley has 10 points.

The Lady Eagles continue their busy week with a home game against Lincoln Memorial Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at Holt Fieldhouse. Pregame coverage begins at 5:45 with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network's flasgship station 106.3 WPFT-FM and in high definition on

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