HARROGATE, Tenn. – No. 21 Lander turned 29 Carson-Newman turnovers into 28 points and collected 26 offensive rebounds in a 68-53 victory over the Lady Eagles Saturday afternoon at Tex Turner Arena in the South Atlantic Conference/Peach Belt Conference Challenge.
"This might be the worst loss we have had since I have been the head coach," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "I don't understand exactly why we played the way we did, why we folded under pressure. We haven't changed a whole lot. We are out-athleted a little bit but that's okay. You can still box out and take care of the ball and be poised."
It is just the second time that Carson-Newman (1-1) falls to a ranked team in seven tries under Mincey with the only other loss coming to No. 5 Columbus State on March 13, 2015 in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Women's Basketball Championships.
After Lander (1-1) scored the game's opening basket, Carson-Newman went on a 12-0 to take a 12-2 lead. The Bearcats responded with a 9-2 spurt of their own to pull within three points after the first 10 minutes. The Lady Eagles went 6-for-8 from the floor while holding their opponent to 5-for-21 shooting but turned the ball over 10 times leading to six points for Lander.
Carson-Newman went the final 7:30 of the second quarter without a made field goal. A three-pointer from Ty'Hesha Reynolds with 5:26 to play before the break gave Lander a 21-20 lead as part of a 12-2 run to take a 30-22 lead. C-N scored the final four points of the half at the free-throw line to make it a 30-26 game at the break.
The Lady Eagles went 10-for-20 from the floor but committed 17 turnovers leading to 12 points for Lander. Sophomore Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) led all players with 10 points and five rebounds in the first 10 minutes as Lander had two players lead the way with six points each.
Lander's lead grew to 15 points at 43-28 with six minutes to play in the third quarter. Carson-Newman battled back to get the deficit to five points at 49-44 with 11.4 seconds to play in the frame.
A layup from Jessica Harris as time expired in the third quarter ignited a 14-0 run that extended until there was 4:11 to play in the contest when senior Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) scored her first points of the second half with a three-pointer. The Bearcats lead expanded to as much as 19 in the quarter until the final buzzer sounded for a 15-point win for the No. 21 team in the country.
The 29 giveaways for C-N are the most since Nov. 19, 2014, a span of 57 contests, when the Lady Eagles turned the ball over 30 times in an 88-79 victory over Tusculum.
Brooks led the Lady Eagles with 12 points in the game while Wester ended the night with 10 points and seven rebounds. Junior Abby Tinsley (Charlottesville, Va.) scored nine points making all four field-goal attempts coupled with five rebounds.
Harris led all scorers with 19 points to go along with seven boards and three assists. Reynolds added 13 points, six steals, four rebounds and a pair of assists.
Carson-Newman opens the doors to Holt Fieldhouse Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. as King (Tenn.) comes to town. Broadcast coverage begins at 5:15 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station 106.3 WPFT-FM and cneagles.com/live.
- CN -