WINGATE, N.C. – Fourth-ranked Carson-Newman held a 12-point led with 9:48 to go in the game only to let a 17th straight win slip through its grasp as Wingate scored 33 points in the fourth quarter to knock the Lady Eagles from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 68-54 win in South Atlantic Conference play Saturday afternoon at Cuddy Arena.
"I am very disappointed in our offensive efficiency," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We had some turnovers. Once they got going, the crowd got into it. I am very disappointed in how our whole program handled it to be honest. They started curling some things and utilizing their guards because we had to guard their bigs so hard. We did not make plays down the stretch to win at a tough place on the road to a team that hadn't lost [at home] all year."
Carson-Newman (16-1, 8-1) has now lost nine straight meetings to Wingate (13-2, 7-2) as the Bulldogs extend the ninth-longest home winning streak in the country at 16 games.
Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) buried a left-point triple in the first 12 seconds of the fourth to push the lead to a dozen at 47-35. Wingate scored nine straight to cut the deficit to three at 47-44 with 7:20 to go.
A 7-2 spurt gave Wingate the lead at 51-49 with 5:56 to go. Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.) banked in a layup from the right block to tie the score at 51 only to see the Bulldogs reel off nine of the next 11.
It was a six-point game with a 1:01 to go in the game when the officials called an intentional foul on Kelci Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) picked up a technical foul. Caroline Averette went 8-for-8 from the line down the stretch to put the game on ice.
The 14-point differential is the largest deficit C-N had faced all season, two points more than a 12-point second-quarter margin at North Georgia on Nov. 17.
Wingate made eight of its first 10 shots in the final 10 minutes going 9-for-9 from the line in the quarter to score 33 points, the second-most points allowed by C-N in any quarter this season.
To open the contest, the Bulldogs took a 5-2. Carson-Newman rattled 11 unanswered points over the next three-and-a-half minutes to capture the lead. Marta Miscenko was the only player for Wingate to score in the opening 10 minutes. Overall, the Lady Eagles capped the first quarter on an 18-2 run limiting Wingate to one field goal in the final 6:02 to make it a 20-7 game after a stanza.
In the second frame, the Lady Eagles went 4-for-15 from the field but the closest Wingate could get was 10 points after a jumper from Danasia Witherspoon with 4:32 to play before the half to make it a 25-15 affair. C-N failed to score over the final 2:58 of the half but went into the locker room on top 30-19.
Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) racked up 14 points and eight rebounds in the first half and Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) added eight points. Outside of that duo, the rest of the Lady Eagles were 4-for-14 from the field.
After C-N pushed the lead to 14 at 37-23 in the third quarter, the Bulldogs ripped off seven unanswered points to pull within seven at 37-30 with four minutes to play in the frame. The Lady Eagles scored five straight to get the bulge to a dozen. It was a nine-point game going into the fourth quarter at 44-35.
Kayla Marosites fouled out with 6:24 to go in the game when the score was tied at 49 but finished with her sixth double-double of the year with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.
Smith was the only other player in double figures with 11 points and three assists in the game.
Wester had her string of 27 games in-a-row scoring in double figures halted as the junior went 2-for-10 from the field for four points. The last time the forward failed to post double digits came on Jan. 25, 2017 against Lincoln Memorial. It is a career low with C-N for a player that has scored 10 or more in 44 of 47 career outings.
Averette scored 21 points in the second half to lead all scorers in the game with 23 points. Marta Miscenko had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Courtney Robinson finished the day with 13 points and five boards.
Carson-Newman scored 10 points off of 11 Wingate giveaways in the first 12 minutes of the game but failed to convert on seven turnovers the rest of the way.
Next on the docket for C-N is a home meeting against Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. inside of Holt Fieldhouse. Local TV will cover the game while the usual outlets of 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and cneagles.com/live starting at 5:45 p.m.
- CN -