JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Before opening the doors to Holt Fieldhouse, Carson-Newman travels for two outings against Peach Belt Conference foes in the UNG Nighthawk Classic. The Lady Eagles will visit North Georgia Friday evening at 6 p.m. before taking on Georgia College Saturday at 2 p.m. in Dahlonega's Memorial Hall.
"I think we gamble a lot on the perimeter," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "Sometimes that's great. Sometimes it's not. North Georgia will probably make us pay for that more than King did [Wednesday]. I want to see us get our offensive flow back. We shot it as much as anyone in the country. I was very disappointed by four of 21 from the three. We are much better than that."
Carson-Newman and North Georgia are meeting for the 10th time as the Lady Eagles hold a narrow 5-4 edge. C-N has just one win in Dahlonega coming on Nov. 16, 2012 after losing 68-59 on the road on Dec. 7, 2016.
Failing to score a point over the final 3:45 of the outing, C-N allowed nine unanswered points to allow the Nighthawks to snap a four-game losing streak in the series winning for the first time since a 91-83 victory at home on Nov. 23, 2007.
The Lady Eagles registered a season-high six assists with Mika Wester notching her second career double-double going for 16 points and 10 rebounds to match Katie Stubblefield's 16 points for the team-high.
A trio of Nighthawks scored 14 points as Kelsey Hutchins, McKenzie Darrah and Amber Skidgel paced the team. Darrah added seven rebounds and Skidgel registered eight.
Picked to finish fifth in the Peach Belt, North Georgia won 20 games for a third time in the last four seasons a year ago to finish in third place in the West Division of the league.
The Nighthawks are 3-0 to begin the year thanks a defense has allowed foes to shoot 26 percent from the field to hold the eighth-best defensive group in the nation. Opponents are scoring 47 points per game and turning the ball over 22 times per night while making 19 percent of their shots from long range.
On the other end of the floor, UNG has three players averaging double figures led by Darrah's 13.7 points per night having scored at least 10 points in each outing. The senior has made 70 percent of her shots from the floor.
Deana Blankinship is scoring 12.3 points per game and Skidgel rounds out the double-digit scorers with 10.3.
The Lady Eagles challenge Georgia College for fifth time as all four meetings have come on the road in the series. The Bobcats won the first two affairs before C-N collected wins in 2009 and the most recent game on Nov. 17, 2012 in Dahlonega, a 57-51 triumph.
Mincey's team trailed by eight at halftime but went 15-for-16 from the free-throw line and held the Bobcats to a shooting percentage of 25. Current assistant Tatum Burstrom had 21 points and five steals for C-N in the victory.
The Bobcats were picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches' poll and have started the season with losses to No. 14 Wingate and Anderson (S.C.). After losing to the Bulldogs by 11 points to start the year, the Trojans dismantled Georgia College by 32 points. GC went one-for-18 from long distance and shot 27 percent from the field in the game.
Preseason All-PBC forward averaged 15.1 points and 8.0 rebounds as junior recording six double-doubles and ranking in the top 10 in the league in field goal percentage, rebounding, blocks and points per game. Her senior year is off to a slow start as she is shooting 24 percent from the floor and averaging nine points. The post player does have 20 boards through a pair of contests and four blocks.
Guard Brianna Davis is the lone Bobcat to average double figures with 10 points in each game to start the year. In two outings the team is shooting 29 percent from the field and has converted just five of 34 attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
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