GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Carson-Newman went 16-for-20 from the field in the third quarter outscoring Tusculum 34-12 to hammer the Pioneers 72-59 in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday night at Pioneer Arena.
"We were very calm in the locker room," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We can't play any worse. We shot it at 28 percent from the field. I know for us that we couldn't play any worse than what we did. I was very disappointed with how we handled the 1-3-1 to start the game. We felt pretty good about our conditioning and what we could do out of the press."
C-N (17-8, 14-5) has now won four straight games on Tusculum's (6-17, 5-14) home floor dating back to a 55-51 loss on Jan. 9, 2013.
The Lady Eagles also overcome a halftime deficit for the second time this year in eight chances with the lone other time coming in the season opener when they trailed 37-35 to USC Aiken winning the game 84-78.
After C-N scored the first points the two sides traded 6-0 spurts to see the Lady Eagles take an 8-6 lead with 5:35 to play in the opening quarter. A 4:15 scoring drought by the visitors allowed Tusculum to reel off 10 unanswered points to take a 16-8 lead. Carson-Newman shot just 29 percent in the first 10 minutes and trailed 16-12 entering the second stanza.
The Pioneers opened up a seven-point lead at 21-14 with 6:34 remaining in the half. The Lady Eagles surged over the next 3:30 to take a 22-21 as the 8-0 run was capped by a driving layup from senior Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.). The two sides traded hoops the rest of the half as a Callie Patterson jumper from the top of the key with 48 seconds left put the home group ahead 25-24 at halftime.
There were seven lead changes and the score was tied twice as C-N shot just 29 percent from the floor, 10-for-35, in the opening half. Tusculum turned eight Carson-Newman giveaways into nine points. Patterson led scorers with 14 points in 17 minutes going 6-for-9 from the field.
The first three minutes of the third quarter saw Carson-Newman put up 12 consecutive points while scoring 16 of the first 17 in the frame to take a 40-26 advantage with 5:44 to play. The Lady Eagles outscored the Pioneers 34-12 in the third forcing eight turnovers and scoring 16 points off of those giveaways.
Tusculum had a pair of 9-2 runs in the fourth quarter to pull within 10 with 2:34 to play in the game on a triple from Maelyn Head. The Pioneers made a pair of buckets down the stretch as C-N handled the full court pressure to close out the game.
Senior Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) tied the school record for made three-pointers in a season making four on the night to bring her season total to 72 matching Ashley Tipton's mark set in 2008-09. Brooks finished with 16 points and seven assists.
Sophomore Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) recorded her fourth double-double of the season racking up 17 points and 12 rebounds to go along with five assists.
Redshirt-sophomore Kayla Newman (Alcoa, Tenn.) racked up a career-high 12 rebounds as her and Wester became the first duo in a season to have a double-digit rebounding effort. Newman matched her best set on Feb. 3, 2016 when she and Jai Jai McLaughlin each had double-digit rebounds.
"We knew coming into the game that they weren't a very good rebounding team," Newman said. "We had the inside position and were there and were ready to get those boards."
Cupples and redshirt-junior Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.) also recorded double figures going for 12 and 10 respectively.
Patterson led all scorers with 22 points and five rebounds in the game while Kasey Johnson finished with 18 points, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals. The rest of the team went a combined 5-for-22 from the field.
The Lady Eagles make their final road trip of the season on Saturday visiting the No. 5 team in the Southeast Region, Wingate, at Cuddy Arena for a 2 p.m. tip-off. Broadcast coverage starts at 1:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on Mountain Country 106.3 WPFT-FM and cneagles.com/live on the Eagle Sports Network.
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