SALISBURY, N.C. – Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey earned his 100th career victory as the Lady Eagles used a quality fourth frame to defeat Catawba 80-76 in a South Atlantic Conference game that featured 21 lead changes Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.
"It took long enough to be honest with you," Mincey said. "I've been very fortunate to be a coach at the collegiate level. I could thank a lot of people for that. I have had a lot of good kids. They play really hard for me. I owe all of it to them and they've been a joy to coach.
"This is about as good of a game as I could get 100. It ranks in the top five or top 10 of my wins considering what was at stake and what we needed to do on the road against a very good basketball team."
The win completes a regular season sweep for Carson-Newman (15-7, 12-4) over Catawba (13-8, 10-6) for the first time in 11 seasons when it did so in 2005-06.
The Indians see their 11-game home winning streak against conference foes come to a close as the Lady Eagles become the first team since Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 16, 2016 to win in Salisbury.
Catawba regained the lead just shy of two minutes into the second quarter at 29-28. Carson-Newman started the stanza by making nine of its first 11 shot attempts from the field and used a 13-2 spurt over a nearly four-minute stretch to push the lead to 41-31. The Lady Eagles went 11-for-17, 65 percent, from the field in the quarter while the Indians went 4-for-17, 24 percent.
Serena Brown and Terri Rogers scored 22 points combined and went 10-for-14 from the field while the rest of the roster shot 3-for-19 in the first 20 minutes of action.
Catawba came out of the locker room scoring 10 unanswered points to pull within two at 47-45 as C-N scored at the 6:24 mark to maintain the lead on a baseline jumper from senior Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.). The Indians snatched the lead on a 12-foot jump shot from the left side of the lane from Marshauna Butler at 56-55. The quarter closed with the home group holding a 61-57 advantage thanks making 13-for-16 from the free-throw line.
The Indians were clinging to a 69-67 edge with 5:14 to play when the Lady Eagles clamped down on defense and used a 9-2 sequence lasting until 33 seconds left in the game to earn the road win. Catawba went 5-for-17 from the field in the last 10 minutes while C-N made eight of 10 foul shots.
Wester finished the day with a game-high 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Simerly did not attempt a shot in the second half as she fouled out. Sophomore Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) scored 11 points in the second half and ended the day with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Four Catawba athletes finished in double figures led by a double-double from Rogers who finished with 20 points and 10 boards. Marshauna Butler piled up 15 points and nine boards. Brown tallied 18 points and Bri Johnson scored 13 points coupled with five caroms.
The Lady Eagle continue their travel Wednesday with a trek to Anderson for a 6 p.m. start against the Trojans. Fans can find the broadcast on Mountain Country 106.3 WPFT-FM and cneagles.com/live beginning with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network.
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