JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Third-ranked Carson-Newman plays its final road game of the season Wednesday evening at Lincoln Memorial at 6 p.m. looking to solidify at least a share of the South Atlantic Conference regular season championship.
"They know exactly what is at stake," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey stated. "It's kind of a blessing that we have a rivalry game to play before we get to that last game of the year. We don't lack for motivation to go and play at Lincoln Memorial. We haven't won over. Our kids are excited to go play. That's the more important thing to me. As we get down to this stretch run that we don't get burnt out. They are more excited to play now than they were at the beginning of the year."
A win on Wednesday would secure at least a share of the SAC's regular season crown for Carson-Newman (25-1, 17-1). It would be the fifth time in school history that the program has won the regular season and first since sharing the title with Presbyterian in 1997-98, 21 seasons ago.
In fact, three of the four titles won have been shared. In 1992-93 and 1994-95, C-N shared the top spot with Wingate. The only time the program has won the league outright came in 1991-92 when the Lady Eagles hoisted the trophy with a two-game lead on Catawba.
If the unit picks up a win at Lincoln Memorial (15-10, 10-8), it would the 26th of the season to establish to new high mark for the program as a Division II member that was set in 2004-05 when the club went 25-8.
Mincey's squad has been one of the better road teams in America this season as only six teams have a higher winning percentage, all are undefeated, and six have more victories, Ashland (13-0) and LIU Post (12-3).
The Carson-Newman Lady Eagles are ranked third in the country, the program's highest ranking since joining NCAA Division II. Take an inside look at the team's 100-79 win over Tusculum:https://t.co/FlVeSNzy6W— WBIR Sports (@WBIRSports) February 17, 2018
Wednesday is the 80th all-time meeting between C-N and LMU as the Lady Eagles hold a 47-32 lead the series after a 105-90 win at Holt Fieldhouse on Jan. 17.
Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) had the best scoring game for the Lady Eagles in over a decade as she went 11-for-18 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the charity stripe chipping in nine assists. The last time a C-N player produced a better scoring effort was Brooke Johnson's 39 points in the NCAA Tournament on March 12, 2005, 4,694 days before Price's effort.
Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) finished the game with 25 points going 9-for-16 from the floor with four assists, four rebounds and two blocks.
No player on the Lady Eagles have won a game in Harrogate in their career as LMU has won each of the last five meetings since a 74-72 C-N win on Jan. 25, 2012. Shannon Depew hit a runner with 0.3 seconds to play was the difference as she dropped a team-high 17 points.
The Railsplitters have won back-to-back games but are just 5-5 over their last 10 contests as four of the five losses have come by double figures. The closest loss in that stretch is a seven-point setback at Anderson on Feb. 7.
LMU has lost twice at home this season in 11 games, a 67-64 decision versus Wingate on Dec. 13 and a 74-55 contest to Lenoir-Rhyne on Jan. 27. The 'Splitters are scoring nearly eight points more inside of the friendly confines and shooting several points higher from the field.
Only 16 teams in the nation commit more fouls per game than the Railsplitters who are whistled 21 times per game on the year. However, they have crossed over 20 just three times in the last seven games.
Opponents are shooting a high percentage against LMU to the tune of a 41 percent clip overall and 32 percent from long range. Both margins are eighth in the 11-team SAC.
LMU is the best offensive rebounding unit in the conference with 17 per night having racked up double-digits in all but one game this year. Overall the team is top 50 in the country in rebound margin at plus-six.
Despite being the eighth-most efficient offense in the league with a 40-percent shooting clip, the 'Splitters are third-best and 19th in the country in three-point percentage at 37 having made the second-most in the SAC with 178.
Shea Coker is the team's leading scorer at 13 per night to rank 11th in the league. She had 23 points on eight of 11 shooting from the field in the first meeting this year. Ross Mathis made seven three-pointers and finished with 21 points as the team went 14-for-26 overall from long range, the most makes in a game on the year.
The game will be broadcast on Mountain Country 106.3 WPFT-FM beginning 15 minutes prior to tip-off with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network and on cneagles.com/live. Local fans can catch the game on MyVLT as WVLT-TV will provide the video broadcast.
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