JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Lenoir-Rhyne went 8:45 without a field goal in the third quarter as Carson-Newman held the Bears to 2 of 12 shooting in the frame to go on to a 68-48 victory Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.
"Just trying to control the ball-handler which I thought we did a decent job," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We were trying to get in gaps and make them take outside shots. That's not something they particularly want to do. They want to try to get stuff near the rim. I'm really proud of how we got those gaps covered and made them kick the ball out and we didn't give them many offensive rebounds and second-chance points."
Carson-Newman turned the ball over just eight times marking the fewest giveaways by the Lady Eagles since March 5th, 2008 when C-N turned the ball over seven times.
The Bears (2-7, 1-4 South Atlantic Conference) made their first field goal of the second half but did not find the bottom of the basket again until the 1:01 mark of the third quarter as the Lady Eagles (8-3, 2-3 SAC) used a 7-0 run to get the lead up to 47-27.
Lenoir-Rhyne forced Mincey to use a timeout at the 7:18 mark of the first quarter after scoring the first six points of the game. The Lady Eagles did not score for another minute but that jumpstarted a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 7-6 with 2:00 to play in the frame as Lenoir-Rhyne missed eight straight field-goal attempts. With both teams shooting in the 20s in the first quarter the score was tied at 10.
After going 3-for-14 from the floor in the first quarter Carson-Newman went 9-for-16 in the second stanza. The Lady Eagles closed out the first 20 minutes on a 9-3 run to take its largest lead of the half at 32-23.
Junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) scored a game-high 10 points in the first half to lead the way for the Lady Eagles while Shelly Harper's six points paced the Bears.
Lenoir-Rhyne went 8-for-27 from the floor in the second half. Carson-Newman pushed the lead to a game-high 22 points with 43 seconds to play in the game before a layup by the Bears pushed the score to a final margin of 68-48.
Brooks collected her third game of 20 or more points in her career finishing with a game-high 20 points, three assists and three rebounds on 8 of 18 shooting.
"It was really good," Brooks said. "We wouldn't have enjoyed our Christmas as much had we not got the win. It was even icing on the cake to get plus-20. We are really excited and ready for the holidays now. We'll go home and get some work in and we'll come back fresh."
Senior guard Jai Jai McLaughlin (Knoxville, Tenn.) added a season-high 13 points and seven rebounds while going over 300 career assists in the game with two helpers.
Senior forward Taylor Peterson (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) added 11 points, three assists and three rebounds.
Lenoir-Rhyne's leading scorer, Jasmine Stafford, was the lone Bear in double figures finishing with 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting in the game.
Carson-Newman returns from Christmas break on Jan. 2nd to host Mars Hill at Holt Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. Broadcast coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins at 1:45 p.m. with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off on cneagles.com/live and Mountain Country 106.3 WPFT-FM.
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