HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Fifth-ranked Carson-Newman earned its 20th win of the season by turning 26 Coker turnovers into 34 points in a 102-63 drubbing in South Atlantic Conference play Saturday afternoon at the DeLoach Center.
"We got the tempo we wanted," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey assessed. "Even though we weren't scoring we just kept pounding away out of the press. They had more assists than turnovers at our place. We read the ball better and got some interceptions that was key to get points off of turnovers."
Carson-Newman (20-1, 12-1) matches its fastest season to 20 victories in a season with the 1984-85 team that reeled off 31 wins in its first 32 tries. It is the 19th time the school has won 20 games and the first time since 1991-92 and 1992-93, a span of 25 years, which the Lady Eagles win at least 20 outings in back-to-back seasons.
After dropping 106 points at Mars Hill on Wednesday, the Lady Eagles have notched back-to-back 100-point scoring efforts on the road for the first time in program history.
Coker (6-12, 3-9) has now lost six straight games in the series and on the year and has just one win since the calendar flipped to 2018.
The Lady Eagles started the game 3-for-22 from the floor and it was a 10-10 game with 1:12 to go in the first quarter. C-N made four of its last six to close the quarter as a pull-up triple in transition from Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.), her first three-pointer of the year, to end the quarter.
"I was really impressed with our club today," Mincey stated. "We were missing a lot of bunnies early in the game. We found ourselves in a weird predicament that we are used to being in. We were playing good defense and getting defensive rebounds but we finished up strong."
Mincey's club started the second quarter with five unanswered points to make it a 15-0 overall run spanning the end of the first and early portion of the second stanza. Carson-Newman made 10 of next 14 shots from the field after the sluggish start.
With the differential at 11 points with 6:45 to go in the first half, C-N reeled off 11 straight points over the next three minutes to push the lead to 22 points. Despite going the final 2:33 without a field goal, the Lady Eagles went into the locker room ahead 49-27.
Coker started the second half with eight of the first 10 points to cut the deficit to 16. C-N countered with an 8-0 spurt, six of which came from Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.). It was one of two such sequences in a four-minute span as C-N outscored Coker 16-2 to make it 67-37. Shay Jackson buried a triple from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded to make it a 72-45 game entering the fourth.
In the final 10 minutes, C-N went 14-for-17 from the charity stripe and shot 58 percent from the floor to complete the victory. A 9-0 run helped expand the lead with the final margin being the largest lead of the game.
Six players scored in double figures for Mincey's group led by 23 points from Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) who had been held to single digits in her last two games. The junior added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
"I just wanted to come in and let the game come to me and not force anything," Smith recapped. "We always try to be aggressive and getting to the line is a big part of our game."
Stubblefield finished the day with 12 points, three assists and three steals and Tori Griffin (Jefferson City, Tenn.) scored 11 points.
Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) added 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three pilfers.
Carson-Newman collected 20 steals in the game and outrebounded the Cobras 50-38. The Lady Eagles went 29-for-34 from the free-throw line, 85 percent.
Coker was led by Erin Houser's 10 points and nine rebounds and Elizabeth Kincaid's 11 points as 16 players saw time for coach Shannon Johnson's team.
Mincey's club returns to the friendly confines of Holt Fieldhouse Wednesday evening for a 6 p.m. tip-off against Anderson. Radio coverage will be on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) with video and audio streams available on cneagles.com/live starting at 5:45 p.m.
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