JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – When third-ranked Carson-Newman hits the road Saturday for a 2 p.m. tilt against Catawba in South Atlantic Conference play, the Lady Eagles will look to match the program's high-water wins total as the school seeks its 25th of the season.
A win on Saturday would be the eighth time in program history that Carson-Newman has produced a 25-win season but just the third in the SAC era, since 1989-90. It would match the highest win output for the team as a member of Division II. The school scored at least 25 wins in five of the first eight years as a program. Since that point a 27-4 record in 1989-90 and a 25-8 season from the 2004-05 teams are the only campaigns going over the quarter century mark.
After winning 16 SAC games in 2016-17, a triumph on Saturday would reset the school record for SAC wins in a year with the team's 17th of the season. The Lady Eagles have clinched a top-two finish in the regular season standings for the 10th time and first since finishing in a tie for second with Tusculum during the 2005-06 year. Outside of Wingate's 19 finishes in the top two, C-N has 10 for the second-most among the league.
Mincey's club has been one of the better road teams in America this season as only eight teams have a higher winning percentage and six have more victories.
With Catawba holding a 37-28 lead in the all-time series, Carson-Newman is seeking its fourth straight win that would match the longest winning streak against the Indians in the series for the Lady Eagles. The other time the program pulled it off came in the first four contests of the series, three in 1990 and one in 1991.
In the first meeting this season on Jan. 6, five C-N players scored in double figures to earn an 88-60 win at Holt Fieldhouse. Kayla Marosites paced the Lady Eagles with 16 points and five steals.
It was one of nine times on the year that the Indians turned the ball over at least 20 times giving it up 24 times leading to 25 points for C-N, one of 14 occasions this year that the Lady Eagles had at least 25 points off of giveaways. Catawba is seventh in the league with nearly 17 turnovers per 40 minutes.
Catawba snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-60 road victory over Coker on Wednesday evening. It has won six of its last eight home games and is 8-3 inside of Goodman Gym on the year.
Despite shooting at least 15 three-points in their last five games, the Indians are second-worst in the SAC and 223rd nationally in three-point percentage with a 29-percent margin.
Overall the team is shooting 38 percent from the field, the second-worst margin in the league and 227th in the country. However, Catawba is collecting 15 offensive rebounds per night, 33rd in Division II.
The duo of Terri Rogers and Serena Brown continue to pace Catawba as the only two double-digit scorers on the year with Rogers third in the league in scoring at 17.3 and Brown posting 11.6 per game. They scored more than half of the team's points in the first meeting this season as Rogers went 11-for-18 from the floor for 24 points and Brown finished with 11.
"They two of the better players in our league in Rogers and Brown," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "Rogers had a really good game here against us. We struggled guarding her. It's unusual for them to lose games at home. We are going to try to play the same way but we are going to try to limit Rogers."
For Rogers, the senior post player has been in double figure in all but two games this season with six contests of at least 20 and has five double-doubles on the year. The senior is fourth in the SAC in free-throw percentage at 80 and eighth in the conference in field-goal percentage at 45.
Brown is second in the SAC in assists per game with five on the year and third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.81. The senior is fourth in the league in made three-pointers with 45 and shoots 36 percent from long range.
The Eagle Sports Network will have the broadcast coverage on radio on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live starting at 1:45 p.m. with "The AEC Countdown to Tip-Off".
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