MARS HILL, N.C. – Ansley Ricker buried a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining as Mars Hill scored five points in the final 15.1 of the game to snap a seven-game losing streak to Carson-Newman and overcome a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit with an 83-82 victory Wednesday night at Stanford Arena.
Carson-Newman (15-6, 9-6 South Atlantic Conference) possessed the basketball with 15.1 seconds remaining when Mars Hill (10-9, 9-5 SAC) committed a foul in the backcourt. The officials whistled a contact-technical on Carson-Newman.
Paige Chavis made two foul shots to lead up to Ricker's three-pointer. The Lady Eagles had an excellent look from the top of the three-point arc from senior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.), a shot she missed off of the front iron. A scramble for the rebound resulted in the clock expiring and a Lions' win. The Lions outscored the Lady Eagles 26-12 in the final stanza.
Carson-Newman closed out the first quarter on a 10-0 run spanning the final 1:47 of the frame as the visiting group took a 27-19 lead. The Lady Eagles collected 12 offensive rebounds in the frame leading to eight second-chance points.
Mars Hill cut the deficit to two points at 35-33 with 4:43 to play in the second quarter when Carson-Newman scored seven of the next 11 to regain its lead and a layup by senior guard Jai Jai McLaughlin (Knoxville, Tenn.) as time expired gave the Lady Eagles a 47-42 lead at the break.
Mincey's team shot just 36 percent from the floor in the first half but racked up 14 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds. Burstrom scored 21 points in the first half of action on 6 of 11 shooting from the floor and four three-pointers.
Ricker led the way in the opening 20 minutes for Mars Hill with 17 points on 5 of 9 shooting as the Lions went 11-for-13 from the charity stripe.
With the Lions within two points at 55-53, the Lady Eagles went on an 11-0 run over a 2:36 sequence to take a 66-53 advantage with 2:28 to play in the quarter. Mars Hill shot just 33 percent in the stanza as Carson-Newman took a 70-57 lead to the fourth.
Carson-Newman recorded 28 offensive rebounds in the game, its most in a contest since notching 29 on Nov. 28, 2012 in a 62-59 overtime win against Brevard. Overall the Lady Eagles recorded their first 50-rebound game of the year and first since Feb. 11, 2015 against Brevard.
Redshirt-freshman guard Kayla Newman (Alcoa, Tenn.) recorded her first career double-double finishing with a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Burstrom did not score in the second half but passed Data Caldwell for 11th on the program's all-time scoring list bringing her four-year tally to 1,128. It is the second straight game that the Lady Eagles have lost when Burstrom crests 20 points in her career after winning the first nine.
McLaughlin filled the stat sheet with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on the night while junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) scored 15 points in 14 minutes of action.
Ricker finished the game with a season-high 28 points. Kelsey Espinosa had 21 points and 11 rebounds while Candence Wilmoth and Chavis tossed in 10 and 15 points respectively.
The duo of Ricker and Espinosa became the first tandem since Aisjah Lee and Josey Harding for Lincoln Memorial on Feb. 4, 2015.
Carson-Newman returns home Saturday for a 2 p.m. start against Catawba. Broadcast coverage begins at 1:45 p.m. on 106.3 WPFT-FM and cneagles.com/live with The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off on the Eagle Sports Network.
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