ANDERSON, S.C. – Despite its second-lowest field-goal percentage of the year No. 8 Carson-Newman made timely shots and used stifling defense in the first half to defeat Anderson 72-56 in South Atlantic Conference competition Wednesday night at the Abney Center.
"I thought our defense did a really good job getting back and not giving up easy stuff," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "They weren't shooting it well. They missed a lot of stuff around the rim. I'd like to think some of that was us. We didn't give up anything easy."
Carson-Newman (10-0, 3-0) is off to a 10-0 overall start to the season for the fifth time in program history and third time in the last decade.
Entering the night as the league's top scoring defense, Anderson (6-3, 1-1) allowed its most points of the year having lost all three games that the squad has allowed 70 or more points.
Ace Easter buried a triple 38 seconds into the game to get Anderson off to a 3-0 start. It was one of three made field goals by the Trojans in the first quarter. Carson-Newman scored 15 of the next 17 points capped by a left-handed hook shot by Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.). The Lady Eagles scored 12 points off of turnovers to hold a 19-7 advantage after 10 minutes.
The second stanza revealed much of the same as the Trojans made just three field goals once more and went six-for-30 from the field, 20 percent, in the first half. The margin ballooned to 19 points when Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) buried a triple from the right corner to put C-N ahead 35-16 going into the locker room.
In the third quarter, Mincey's group shot 50 percent from the floor. A 9-2 spurt over a two-minute stretch made it a 51-23 contest with 3:06 to go. The lead was 28 at 57-29 as the buzzer sounded to cap the third frame.
Anderson soared out of the gates in the fourth making five of its first six shots from the floor and all four foul shots to cut the deficit to 23 at 66-43 with 4:22 to play. The Trojans ripped off a 14-2 run over nearly a four-minute stretch to close the gap to 17 with 2:07 remaining.
The Lady Eagles put the finishing touches on the win as Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) snagged an offensive rebound and found her sister, Kelci, at the top of the key for a wide open three-pointer with 1:35 left on the clock.
Wester led all scorers in the game with 21 points going 10-for-21 from the field while collecting seven rebounds.
"I think we are a very good offensive team," Wester said. "It just proves that we have shooters. They played good defense on us. I let the game come to me. When I forced it, that's when I missed shots."
Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) was the only other C-N player in double figures as the junior added 19 points in 24 minutes to go along with four caroms, three assists and two steals.
Kayla Marosites did not make a shot from the field but registered 13 rebounds, nine on the offensive end, with three steals and two assists.
Jecca Simerly (Talbott, Tenn.) also collected double-digit boards with 10 while adding five points in 29 minutes of play.
"I think that's why it's a different team this year at Carson-Newman," Mincey stated. "It's our ability to rebound and not give up second-chance points. I know we eventually gave up some. On the road when you aren't shooting well you have to have offensive boards."
Ace Easter was the only player to score in double figures for Anderson with 14 points, half of which came at the free-throw line. Alexis Dillard, the team's leading scorer entering play, went one-for-six from the field posting six points and 10 rebounds.
C-N is back in action Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Coker inside of Holt Fieldhouse. The Eagle Sports Network will have the broadcast on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and with audio and video streams available on cneagles.com/live beginning 15 minutes prior to the tip.
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