JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Sporting a flawless record and its highest national ranking in Division II, fifth-ranked Carson-Newman closes out 2017 with a meeting against King (Tenn.) Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. inside of the friendly confines of Holt Fieldhouse.
"We understand that the first 13 games have been great," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey assessed. "We are playing well and are scoring a lot of points but there are a lot of games left in the season and we are going to take it one game at a time and try to accomplish some of the goals that we set forth in the preseason."
A win on Saturday would break a tie with the 1978-79 team for the second-best start in program history as the Lady Eagles are the fourth school in South Atlantic Conference history to earn a spot in the top five of the national poll.
Carson-Newman (13-0) is seeking two wins against a non-conference team in the regular season the 2010-11 campaign when the Lady Eagles beat King (5-5) 79-46 on Nov. 16 and 64-50 on Dec. 11.
Mincey's club has won 10 straight home games in December since falling to Limestone on Dec. 11, 2013 at Holt Fieldhouse 82-73. C-N is 12-2 at home in Mincey's seven seasons.
The Lady Eagles hold a 19-0 all-time advantage against King marking the best start to a series in C-N's history. Previously the school had begun 18-0 against Lincoln Memorial, 17-0 versus Brevard and 16-0 against Mars Hill.
In the first outing between the two clubs, C-N racked up 23 steals and 22 offensive rebounds to overcome a sluggish offensive start and earn an 80-52 victory on Nov. 15. Overall the Tornado turned the ball over 30 times leading to 28 points for C-N while Mincey's club scored 25 second-chance points.
Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) finished with double-digit rebounds for a third straight game while registering a second straight double-double with 13 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and three assists. Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) was one of three players in the game with 13 points as she added eight caroms and a pair of shot blocks.
King enters play on Saturday seeking back-to-back wins for the first time in 2017 after earning its first road win of the year at Virginia-Wise on Dec. 19, a 65-61 victory that featured an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead.
Coach Josh Thompson's team ranks highly in a pair of categories on the year placing 13th nationally with an average of 46 rebounds per evening being led by Kori West's 7.9 on the season. The post player played 20 minutes in the first meeting with eight points and seven caroms.
The Tornado defend the three-point line allowing just 25 percent of opponent's attempt to drop in, a margin that ranks 20th in the country. Otherwise King ranks in the bottom half of the country in nearly every other stat. Turnovers has been one of the big problems with 20 per evening, 261st in the country.
A pair of players are scoring in double figures led by Kristen Cupples who scored 13 points going 5-for-8 from the field in the first outing. She has scored just seven points in her last two games. Rookie Ali Golden adds 10.5 points per game having posted double digits in five of her last seven games.
As you solidify your New Year's Eve plans and enjoy your new treats from Santa, flip on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and cneagles.com/live for the play-by-play coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starting at 1:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off".
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