JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – For the sixth time in 2017-18 No. 8 Carson-Newman posted a shooting percentage above 50 percent as the Lady Eagles shot 55 percent in a 114-82 dismantling of Coker Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse in South Atlantic Conference action.
"We don't want to have that one guy that has to go for 25 or 30 night in and night out," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "If we're sharing the ball, we're showing we have a lot of weapons, a lot of people that can score. We talked about it all year long. Tonight it came together with so many players in double figures."
In Mincey's first six seasons as the leader of Carson-Newman (11-0, 4-0), the Lady Eagles had recorded five triple-digit efforts. Today's victory marks the fifth game with at least 100 points in 2017-18.
Seven players scored in double figures for the first time in just shy of a year when 364 days ago the team produced that effort against Queens (N.C.) on Dec. 10, 2016.
Jecca Simerly (Talbott, Tenn.) had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) notched 12 points and 10 boards to become the first duo with a double-double in the same game in 86 outings when Jai Jai McLaughlin and Simerly did so against Brevard on Jan. 14, 2015.
Coach Shannon Johnson was assessed a technical foul to open the game for not filling out the book in time as Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) cashed in two shots. It was the start to an 11-0 spurt to open the game with Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) hitting a free-throw line jumper capping the run after the first 1:41 of the contest.
Coker closed the gap to seven points at 13-6 before C-N made seven straight shots from the field over a 14-4 run to push the advantage to 27-10. A pair of foul shots from Kaleah Hires made it a 29-15 contest after 10 minutes.
The second stanza provided an offensive explosion for Carson-Newman. Mincey's squad shot 59 percent from the floor going seven-for-11 from long range as the group produced its most points in a second quarter this year with 39.
A 10-2 run opened the second quarter as a layup from Simerly pushed the lead to 17 points at 39-22. With 1:18 to go in the half, C-N went on a three-point parade as Kelci Marosites (Elizbethton, Tenn.), Ashton Wykle (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Price hit triples to end the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 68-39 lead at halftime.
The Cobras cut the deficit to 24 with 4:19 to go in the third quarter when C-N rattled off seven unanswered points to push the lead to 31 at 89-58. Hayley Kropp cashed in her sixth triple of the game with four ticks left to make it a 91-65 contest entering the fourth.
Ahead by a tally of 106-79 with 2:46 to go, the Lady Eagles surged to score eight of the next nine to match its largest lead of the game at 34 points. A jumper from Erin Houser with eight seconds showing on the clock capped the game.
Kelci Marosites led the way with her highest tally in the Orange and Blue with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists while making three of five shots from long range.
"I've been getting in the gym more and working on my shot because it's been a little off," Marosites assessed. "My teammates have been there for me. It's hard to guard us when we have so many players that can score."
Price finished an assist shy of her first career double-double with 15 points and nine assists while Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) added 15.
Wester scored 14 points and had three steals while Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.) did not miss a shot scoring 10 points in 10 minutes of action.
Kropp led all scorers in the game with a career-high 26 points going 10-for-18 from the field and making six of her 11 shots from beyond the arc.
Iresha Cooper was the only other player for Coker in double digits with 12 points and nine rebounds going 6-for-8 from the field.
Mincey's unit takes its final road trip before Christmas Wednesday evening to Charlotte to face Queens (N.C.) Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. The Eagle Sports Network hits the airwaves at 5:45 p.m. on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and cneagles.com/live.
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