JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman won its fourth straight game by closing the game on an 11-3 run to earn an 83-73 South Atlantic Conference victory over Newberry Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.
"I don't like to have these type of games," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "They are going to help us because we had to fight through adversity early in the fourth quarter. It's back-to-back games where we had to fight through a team that is hotter than a firecracker. From three-point range they were just killing it. We had to keep scoring the basketball in order to win the game."
Newberry (10-6, 6-6) took an early 4-3 lead with 8:39 to play in the first quarter before the Lady Eagles responded with a 10-3 run over the next 90 seconds to take a 13-7 advantage. C-N (11-6, 9-3) missed 12 of its 15 shots of the frame but used six foul shots to hold a 24-20 edge after a quarter of action.
Newberry did not score for the first 3:30 of the second stanza but used five straight points to put within three at 28-25 with 5:44 to play before halftime. Carson-Newman promptly surged scoring nine unanswered points over the next 1:57 to push the lead to a first-half high 12 points. Shelby Britten buried a deep triple as time expired in the opening 20 minutes to pull the Wolves within five points at 39-34 at halftime.
The Lady Eagles turned the ball over just one time in the first half but shot 34 percent in the first half. 14 offensive rebounds led to 12 second-chance points and eight Newberry giveways led to eight points.
Britten and Nicola Handreck combined for 30 of Newberry's 34 first-half points as Handreck had 17 on 6-for-10 shooting and Britten added 13 on 4-for-6 from the field.
Newberry went 9-for-13 from the field, 69 percent, in the third quarter and scored five of the final seven points of the stanza to pull within four points at 62-58 entering the fourth.
With 5:04 to play in the game, Handreck made a driving layup and converted a free throw as she was fouled to pull the visitors within two points at 72-70. The Wolves went the next 4:07 of game action without a point as C-N scored eight unanswered to go ahead by 10 with 44 seconds to play in the game. C-N went 6-for-10 from the floor and 8-for-10 from the charity stripe in the frame.
Sophomore Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) led the Lady Eagles with 27 points as she went 6-for-7 from the floor in the second half. Saturday was the 17th straight game that the forward scored in double figures, the longest streak since Zoriah Williams scored in 17 in-a-row in 2011-12. Wester also had six rebounds and three assists.
"I think it shows how much we have grown up as a team," Stubblefield said. "Earlier in the year with losses to Wingate, L-R and LMU, I think it shows how much we have grown up and stepped up to that challenge."
Handreck ended the day with a career-high 36 points, besting her prior mark of 25 points. The junior went 9-for-17 from three-point range producing the third-highest made triples in a game in the history of the league. Her nine three-pointers were the most yielded by C-N since Nikki Van Dine made eight for Tusculum on March 7, 2009 in the SAC Quarterfinals as she became the first player to attempt 15 or more triples since at least 1995.
Britten was the only other Newberry player in double digits as she ended with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Carson-Newman makes the venture to eighth-ranked Lincoln Memorial Wednesday night for a 6 p.m. contest at Tex Turner Arena. The game will have an audio broadcast on cneagles.com/live and Mountain Country 106.3 WPFT-FM beginning at 5:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network.
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