JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Coker committed 32 turnovers leading to 33 points for Carson-Newman as the Lady Eagles led for all but 26 seconds to earn a 95-71 victory over the Cobras on senior day at Holt Fieldhouse in the South Atlantic Conference regular season finale Saturday afternoon.
Carson-Newman (19-9, 16-6) matches the 2014-15 team for the most wins in coach Mike Mincey's six seasons with its fourth straight win over Coker (6-21, 5-17) while winning in a home finale for the 24th time in 39 tries.
"It's really important to get a win any way you can get it on senior day," Mincey said. "It's just the proper way to send your seniors off. We had a good crowd here at Holt Fieldhouse this afternoon. The performance was okay. We put a lot of points on the board, everyone got to play and we got to bring our seniors off the proper way so they could get a standing ovation from the crowd."
The Cobras shot 46 percent in the first quarter but turned the ball over 13 times leading to 14 points for Carson-Newman off of those giveaways. The Lady Eagles shot 53 percent and went 8-for-9 at the free-throw to hold a 24-15 lead after 10 minutes.
To start the second stanza, C-N reeled off 10 of the first 11 points to go on top 34-16 with 6:58 to play before halftime. A 6-0 sequence saw the lead balloon to a first-half high of 22 points with 2:16 to play in the quarter. Coker closed the half on a 10-2 run thanks to a pair of triples from Lindsey Adams to make it a 44-30 game at the break.
Mincey's group made five of its final 15 shots from the field after going 12-for-21 to begin the day. The Lady Eagles turned 23 Coker turnovers into 22 points in the first half. Sophomore Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) led the way with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists in the initial 20 minutes of play.
After missing its first shot of the third frame, Carson-Newman made seven consecutive field-goal attempts watching the 14-point halftime lead expand to 61-39 in the first 3:30 of the third. The lead extended to 29 points at 75-46 with 2:02 to play in the stanza when Coker reeled off seven unanswered points to pull the score to 75-53. Sophomore Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) responded to a Coker layup with five straight points to end the quarter and put the Lady Eagles ahead 80-55.
Coker outscored Carson-Newman 16-15 over the final 10 minutes of play as the Lady Eagles cycled their seniors off of the floor to a standing ovation.
Wester finished the day with her sixth double-double of the year scoring 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists.
Senior Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) finished the game with 16 points and three steals making all but two of her seven shot attempts.
Smith ended the game with 16 points setting career highs at the free-throw line going 11-for-12 in the game.
Senior Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.) finished the day with seven points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Senior Carly Pippin (Sevierville, Tenn.) scored five points with two rebounds and two assists in 11 minutes.
Coker was led by 18 points from Sydney Shull as she also tallied seven rebounds and five assists. Adams ended the day with 16 points and six assists.
The Lady Eagles are the No. 4 seed in the SAC Women's Basketball Championships that begin on Wednesday evening as C-N hosts Newberry in the quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Pregame coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on radio on 106.3 WPFT-FM and online with video and audio streams on cneagles.com/live on the Eagle Sports Network.
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