JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Haris Price produced a career-high 38 points as ninth-ranked Carson-Newman scored triple digits for the seventh time on the year in a 105-90 South Atlantic Conference victory over Lincoln Memorial Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
"I had a few pep talks before the game," Price assessed. "I had been a little down on my confidence level – especially [athletic director] Allen Morgan. It's not about what I do. It's about what our team does and that's really what I focused on tonight and everything else just fell into place."
Price's 38-point effort is the most for a Carson-Newman (17-1, 9-1) player since Brooke Johnson scored 39 points against Clayton State on March 12, 2005, 4,694 days ago. The junior guard went 11-for-18 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. For the third time in her career, she tallied nine assists.
Lincoln Memorial (10-6, 6-4) had not lost by more than six points this season as the 'Splitters allowed their most points in the history of the head-to-head series.
The two sides came out firing as LMU went 5-for-8 from long range in the opening six minutes to push its lead to 17-14 at the first stoppage. Each team followed the break by failing to score over the next three minutes as the 'Splitters led 19-17 after the first 10 minutes.
The lead opened up to a game-high six points for Lincoln Memorial at 29-23 with 6:37 to go in the first half. C-N quickly turned that deficit into a lead with an 11-0 run over the next two-and-a-half minutes as Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) hit a driving layup on the right block to cap the spurt.
LMU scored five of the next six before going cold as the team did not score in the final 2:43 of the half. C-N rattled off 11 unanswered for the second time as Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) buried a triple from the top of the key with 38 ticks to go to cap the run. Overall, the Lady Eagles outscored the Railsplitters 23-5 in the final 6:37 to go into the locker room on top 46-34.
"We knew that the game was going in the pace that we want to play," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "The process worked the way that we want it and we were able to go into halftime with a double figure lead."
Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) produced a big first half scoring 17 points and handing out five assists without a turnover. Wester scored 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting.
The Railsplitters turned the ball over nine times in the second quarter and 15 times overall as Mincey's club turned those giveaways into 21 points.
Each team shot over 60 percent and scored 28 points in the third quarter. Lincoln Memorial went 6-for-9 from long range to stay within striking distance as C-N went into the fourth on top 74-62.
The closest LMU would get in the second half came with 5:28 to go in the game as Emily Griffith converted a three-point play to make it an eight-point game at 86-78. Price quickly buried a triple and Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.) made a pair of foul shots to push the margin to 13 with 3:51 to go. Overall Carson-Newman went 12-for-12 from the line down the stretch to hold off LMU's charge.
"We kept a nice little cushion through the whole second half," Mincey stated. "They kept hitting shots and they hit 14 three's. It was like wow they are unconscious. The good thing about today is that we kept scoring. We work on [foul shooting] every day. We pay up with sprints if we don't make them. We made our share today."
In the second half, Lincoln Memorial 59 percent from the floor but finished minus-three over the final 20 minutes of the game as C-N went 22-for-24 from the foul line.
Not to be outdone by Price, Wester finished the game with 25 points going 9-for-16 from the floor with four assists, four rebounds and two blocks.
Stubblefield added 12 points and six boards off of the bench while Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) had 11 points and eight rebounds. Smith finished the game with 11 points and four caroms.
Shea Coker ended the night with 23 points on eight of 11 shooting from the field. Ross Mathis made seven three-pointers and finished with 21 points. Overall, coach Krystal Evans saw her group go 14-for-26 from deep.
Rachel Griffith had 17 points and Jordan Brightwell had 12 points in 14 minutes as LMU shot at least 50 percent in three of the four frames.
C-N continues its homestand Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Newberry, a team that the Lady Eagles beat 71-65 on Dec. 2. Video and audio streams will be available on cneagles.com/live with the radio broadcast on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) starting at 5:45 p.m.
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