Brooks paces Lady Eagles over Tornados 74-67

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

VIDEO: Kailyn Brooks Interview

BREVARD, N.C. – For the second time this season junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) scored a career-high 25 points to lead Carson-Newman past Brevard 74-67 Wednesday night at Boshamer Gymnasium.

The win snaps a season-long three-game losing streak for the Lady Eagles (17-10, 11-10 South Atlantic Conference) while the loss for Brevard (1-24, 0-21 SAC) extends the nation's third-longest losing streak to 21 games.

"With what we have been through lately we really wanted to win," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "This has always been a tough place to play for a lot of teams and we are no exception. Brevard always comes back on teams no matter what the deficit is. Our players really wanted the W and if we won tonight we are automatically in the SAC Tournament. The way we finished the game gives us a little confidence heading towards tournament time."

Carson-Newman made its first three shots from the floor to take a 7-0 advantage before Brevard called for a timeout with 8:05 to play in the first quarter. The Tornados responded with 13 of the next 17 to tie the score at 17. A 15-foot jump shot by redshirt-sophomore forward Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.) put the visiting group ahead 16-15 after 10 minutes of play.

With 6:01 remaining in the second stanza, Carson-Newman extended its lead to a first-half high nine points at 31-22. Brevard responded with a 13-5 run to make it a one-point game at 36-35 with 52 seconds left in the half. A three-pointer from the left wing by senior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.) with under 10 seconds to play put the Lady Eagles ahead 39-35 at halftime.

Junior forward Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.) led the way for Carson-Newman with 10 points, two rebounds and two assists while Madison Lenox scored 11 points to lead the way for Brevard.

Brevard used a 7-3 sequence in the final three minutes of the third quarter to tie the score at 50. A free throw by Carson-Newman preceded a steal a three-pointer from the left wing by junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) with five seconds to play in the quarter to make it a 54-50 contest heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Eagles scored the first six points of the fourth frame to balloon their lead to the largest of the game at 60-50 on a 15-foot jumper from Brooks with 6:55 to play in the contest prompting a timeout from the home squad.

The Tornados tied the score at 62 with 2:12 to play in the game but the deadlock was short-lived as 15 seconds later Brooks buried another triple during a 7-2 stretch as the Lady Eagles made foul shots down the stretch to close out the game.

After scoring nine total points in the previous three games, Brooks tallied her sixth 20-point game of the season as she went 8-for-11 from the floor while tallying three rebounds, three assists and three steals.

"I just had to fix my mindset," Brooks said. "People have been guarding me differently since I've been scoring higher this season. I had to mentally get ready and know they were going to guard me tighter and I was going to have to play through that."

Cupples finished with a season-high 15 points including seven points at the free-throw line while adding six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.

Burstrom added 12 points, a career-high six rebounds and three assists while Stubblefield finished with 10 points.

Brevard was led by 21 points from Lenox while Shelby Wolfe and Nicole Graham added 16 and 13 points respectively. Whitney DeMoss racked up 15 rebounds.

Carson-Newman wraps up the 2015-16 regular season Saturday at Coker with a 2 p.m. start in Hartsville, S.C. The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off begins the broadcast coverage at 1:45 p.m. on 106.3 WPFT-FM and on the Eagle Sports Network.

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