SAC’s top defense invades Mossy Creek as #5 Lady Eagles host Trojans

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

C-N Game Notes

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Statistical opposites collide Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. inside of Holt Fieldhouse in South Atlantic Conference action as fifth-ranked Carson-Newman, one of the nation's top offenses, welcomes Anderson (S.C.), one of the country's top defense, to town.

"[Coach Jonathon Barbaree] does a good job with their defensive scheme," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey assessed. "They are primarily a man-to-man type team. They have good athleticism, good size and good length. They aren't going to give you anything easy. Half court defense is particularly good."

On the season, Carson-Newman (20-1, 12-1) has the second-best scoring margin in the country at 28.6 points per game. The average halftime lead for the Lady Eagles is 18, 46-28.

Out of halftime, Mincey's club has had the most success of any 10-minute session with an average of 26 points per frame in the third quarter compared to holding foes to 18 points.

At the end 30 minutes, C-N is ahead by an average of 27 points per game this season. The team has been outscored in just 16 of the 84 quarters on the year.

Prior to the nine 100-point scoring efforts for the Lady Eagles in 2017-18, C-N had produced 11 such outings in the SAC era, since 1989-90. Only two of those affairs were 110 or more points as this year's squad has provided four scoring outings of at least 114 points in 2017-18. Overall in program history, the school had registered 31 scoring efforts of at least 100 points (100-109 - 22, 110-119 - 7 and 120+ - 2) entering the season.

"We are so talented offensively with a lot of different weapons," Mincey stated. "It's kind of hard to key in on one guy or two guys. It's been a collection of people each night. Our tempo is really good. We are 21 games in and they have it down pretty good."

Mincey's club has the all-time series edge at 11-8 including a solid 7-3 mark at home while looking to complete a season sweep for the third time (2011-12 and 2015-16)

The first meeting this season saw C-N shoot 38 percent from the floor in a 72-56 road victory of the Trojans. After falling behind 3-0, the Lady Eagles went on a 15-2 scoring run to take control of the game.

Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) led all scorers in the game with 21 points going 10-for-21 from the field while collecting seven rebounds. Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) was the only other C-N player in double figures as the junior added 19 points in 24 minutes to go along with four caroms, three assists and two steals.

Ace Easter was the only player to score in double figures for Anderson (13-7, 7-5) with 14 points, half of which came at the free-throw line. Alexis Dillard, the team's leading scorer entering play, went one-for-six from the field posting six points and 10 rebounds.

Anderson, currently sixth in the SAC, bounced back after losing two in-a-row with a 79-62 victory at Queens on Saturday. Of the team's seven wins in league play on the season, only one has come against a team higher in the standings. A 63-53 victory over Wingate on Jan. 6 at home is the lone triumph while three of the other four games came on the road.

Coach Jonathon Barbaree leads one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Trojans are third in the country in field-goal percentage defense (33.8), fourth in rebound margin (11) and rebounds per game (46.8), eighth in shot blocks (108) and 22nd in scoring defense (57.2).

In 20 contests, 12 teams have failed to go over 60 points while Anderson has limited teams to 50 or fewer points six times. The most points yielded is 74 points twice as the Trojans have not allowed more than 80 points in a game since they last played in Holt Fieldhouse on Jan. 18, 2017, an 83-66 loss.

Offensively, Anderson is fourth in the SAC in field-goal percentage at 42 percent on the year but has failed to shoot above 40 on 10 occasions.

Three players are scoring 11 points per game on the year in Dillard, Easter and Alexy Mollenhauer. Dillard is third in the SAC in rebounds per game at just under nine and third in shot blocks at 26. Mollenhauer is seventh in the conference in total triples made with 35.

Supporters can tune into the broadcast locally on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) with video and audio streams on starting at 5:45 p.m. on the Eagle Sports Network.

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