ANDERSON, S.C. – A late three-pointer fell short for No. 11 Anderson (S.C.) as Carson-Newman earned its first road victory over a ranked team since Dec. 12, 2009 as the Lady Eagles halted the Trojans' 26-game South Atlantic Conference with a 54-51 victory Thursday evening at the Abney Athletic Center.
"It's a very gritty performance by our bunch," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "It was a very physical basketball game as it always is over here with Anderson. They didn't play their best and neither did we and we feel very fortunate to come away the winning side. The kids really battled and fought and they deserved this one."
Carson-Newman (13-4, 7-4 SAC) beat eighth-ranked Clayton State 65-62 on the road six seasons ago. The Lady Eagles have now defeated two ranked teams this season, No. 6 Columbus State on Nov. 21, mark the first time since 2011-12 that a C-N team has accomplished that feat as the Lady Eagles beat 12th-ranked Delta State 54-48 and 15th-ranked Lander 88-82 in overtime on back-to-back days.
Anderson (12-2, 10-1 SAC) won the 2014-15 regular season title and last lost in league play on Jan. 3, 2015 to Catawba at home 74-60. Carson-Newman had dropped three straight at Anderson dating back to Feb. 25, 2012.
Anderson took a game-high 10-point lead with 7:49 to play in the third quarter when the Trojans went cold failing to convert a shot from the field for the next 7:14 of game action. Carson-Newman used that time to go on a 17-2 run and take a 42-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Eagles went through a four-minute scoring drought of their own to allow the Trojans to take a 48-47 advantage with 2:10 to play in the game. Carson-Newman scored on its next possession and had the ball with 40 seconds to play. With 13 seconds remaining, redshirt-freshman guard Kayla Newman (Alcoa, Tenn.) buried a three-pointer from the left corner to make it a 53-48 contest.
"Mincey got mad at me in the past for shooting from the outside and missing," Newman said. "I practiced in the gym so I was ready for that three."
Madison Floyd converted a triple at the other end and with 5.9 seconds to play junior forward Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.) went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe to make it a 54-51 contest.
Tamia Eatmon caught the inbound pass on the ensuing possession and threw up a 25-foot heave from the top of the key that was an air ball and was rebounded by senior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.) to end the contest.
Anderson shot just 30 percent from the floor in the first quarter but recorded eight offensive rebounds and made all four foul shots. Carson-Newman turned the ball over seven times leading to nine points for the Trojans as the Lady Eagles trailed 19-12 after 10 minutes.
Each team scored 10 points in the second quarter as the Trojans held a 29-22 lead at halftime. Neither team shot above 30 percent in the opening half with Anderson shooting 28.6 percent and Carson-Newman shooting 26.3 percent from the floor. The Lady Eagles went the final 5:47 of the half without a field goal.
The home team pulled in 26 total rebounds including 16 offensive boards, one more than Carson-Newman's 15 total rebounds. The Lady Eagles went 9-for-12 from the free-throw line in the first half.
Junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) led C-N with eight points and three rebounds while the rest of the team went 2-for-12 from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Heather Jankowy led all scorers in the first half with 10 points while Alexis Dillard racked up seven points and eight rebounds.
In the game, Anderson shot a season-low 26.5 percent from the floor including a 7-for-28 mark from three-point range. The Trojans outrebounded the Lady Eagles 49-37 but turned the ball over 21 times.
"It was such a physical game," Mincey said. "They just got the mindset they had to match [Anderson's] physicality. They did that and when we finally got a little bit scoring, 20 points in the third quarter. Once we could get over that hump. I think the adrenaline kicks in and you have a chance to upset the 11th-ranked team on the road."
Newman led Carson-Newman with 12 points and Brooks chipped in 11 points, five rebounds and three steals. The Lady Eagles went 19-for-26 from the free-throw line in the contest.
Jankowy finished with a game-high 16 points to lead all scorers. The trio of Jennifer Monroe, Nakia Young and Alexis Dillard finished with 10, 10 and 12 rebounds respectively. It was the first time that a C-N opponent's trio collected at least 10 rebounds since Feb. 7, 2007 when three Mars Hill players did so.
Carson-Newman is scheduled to travel to Newberry Saturday with a 2 p.m. start time against the Wolves. The Eagle Sports Network will have the broadcast coverage beginning at 1:45 p.m. on cneagles.com/live and 106.3 WPFT-FM with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off.
- CN -