SALISBURY, N.C. – For the first time in 2015 Carson-Newman never held a lead in a game and fell behind 19-4 before falling 79-66 at Goodman Gym to Catawba Wednesday evening.
The Indians (4-6, 1-3 South Atlantic Conference) picked up their first league win of the year while the Lady Eagles (7-3, 1-3 SAC) took its most lopsided loss of the season.
"I thought we were ready to play," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "I thought the game plan was in place. Again this is twice we have been over here and they employed the same game plan. They took it to us and our defensive transition wasn't very good. I think the first five possessions we had five turnovers. Instead of playing loose and free we played timid and I don't know why."
Carson-Newman trailed by as many as 25 points in the first half and fell behind 7-0 on a layup by Serena Brown with 7:38 to play in the first quarter prompting a timeout from Mincey. The Indians kept the heat on jumping out to a 19-4 advantage and holding a 25-9 lead after the first 10 minutes. The Lady Eagles went 4-for-14 from the floor with nine turnovers.
Catawba made its first five three-pointers and went 11-for-15 from the free throw line in the first half compared to 2-for-13 shooting from deep and 0 of 2 shooting at the charity stripe for the Lady Eagles.
Carson-Newman was led by senior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.) who finished with six points in the opening 20 minutes. Terri Rogers recorded eight points and 11 rebounds and Bri Johnson had 11 points in the first half for Catawba.
Trailing 54-30, Carson-Newman made a run to cut the deficit to 15 using an 11-2 run stretching to the 2:42 mark of the third quarter. Catawba quickly answered with a 7-0 spurt to open the lead back up and the Indians led 63-43 heading into the fourth frame.
The difference was once again 24 points when Carson-Newman made its biggest push of the game. A 13-0 run in 2:23 pulled the Lady Eagles to 72-61 with 5:25 to play in the game. Mincey's team pulled within 10 points with 1:08 to play but never could knock the door down on the deficit.
Carson-Newman shot 4-for-24 from three-point range in the game for a 16.7 percent clip, its second-lowest of the year. Overall the Lady Eagles went 24-for-71 from the field being held to 33.8 percent shooting.
Freshman guard Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) poured in a career-high 17 points surpassing her previous high of six. She went 6-for-11 from the field. No other Carson-Newman player scored in double figures with junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) recording the second-most points with nine.
Rogers finished with game-highs in points and rebounds with 23 and 14 respectively. Johnson matched her season average with 18 points while Alexis Newbold poured in 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Eagles close out the 2015 calendar year with a home meeting at Holt Fieldhouse against Lenoir-Rhyne at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Pregame coverage begins at 1:45 p.m. with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off on the Eagle Sports Network.
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