VIDEO: Kayla Marosites Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Kayla Marosites led a double-digit scoring charge from four Lady Eagles with her 14th career double-double as third-ranked Carson-Newman took down Lander 89-84 on Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.
Carson-Newman (2-0) has now captured three-straight wins over Lander (1-1) since Nov. 11, 2017. It is the sixth time in 14 meetings that a game between the two ending with a single-digit scoring differential.
Marosites produced 20 of her 25 points in the match during the first half along with six of her 13 boards.
This was the second-straight meeting with the Bearcats in which Marosites recorded a double-double.
"I guess it's the tempo where they're fast and their guards are really small," Marosites said. "I'm able to get open shots and go to the rim."
Carson-Newman was held to just 31-percent shooting in the opening stanza, going 8-of-26 from the field compared a Lander side that shot for 60-percent at 12-of-20 from the field. The Bearcats utilized an 11-6 run that was capped with a three-pointer from Quin'De'Ja Hamilton to put her team up 30-25 at the end of the first quarter.
Shooting woes fell on the Bearcats in the second period with the side only connecting on 6-of-15 from the field despite a 5-0 streak to open the frame with another seven-point lead.
A three from Marosites gave the Lady Eagles their first lead in nearly eight minutes of the first half, helping her group to hold a 53-50 lead through 20 minutes with an 11-2 run.
Carson-Newman outscored Lander 28-20 in the second quarter, the largest scoring differential at the end of all four quarters on the day from either team.
Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) came out of the half firing off five-straight shots for seven points but Lander refused to allow C-N to create separation. The Bearcats stayed within reach, never allowing Carson-Newman to lead by more than four points, keeping the differential slim at 74-72 heading into the final period of play.
The Lady Eagles found a much-needed late surge in the fourth quarter that spurred from a Kayla Marosites layup. Carson-Newman used that bucket to piece together a 7-0 streak with just under three minutes left to lead 86-79 before sealing the win.
"I thought we had opportunities throughout the game," coach Mike Mincey said. "You know, we had a five-point lead, I've got to go back to that, we had a five point lead and we got a couple of stops, but we had a turnover, a turnover and a turnover that led right into points and that got (Lander) right back into it.
VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview
"We were having a struggle with Lander because they were shooting the ball so well for most of the game. Now, their percentage went down in the second half because we changed some things up but credit goes to them. They're a good basketball team, they're good basketball players and we knew what it was going to be like but very proud of our team for how they pulled that W out."
Both teams turned the ball over 12 times throughout the afternoon but Carson-Newman made the most of Lander's miscues in the form of 18 points.
Mincey's crew held the lead for 20:10 in a contest that saw 12 ties and nine lead changes.
While Marosites was the lone Lady Eagle in double-double territory, Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) notched 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting with seven rebounds. Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) and Byrd rounded out the double-figure C-N players with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
VIDEO: Briana Smith Interview
Jessica Harris led the Bearcats with 22 points, going 6-of-18 from the field in 39 minutes on the court. She was perfect in all eight of her trips to the charity stripe.
The Lady Eagles hit the road next weekend for the UNG Nighthawk Classic where they will face Georgia College on Friday at the UNG Convocation Center. A live Eagle Sports Network audio broadcast from Dahlonega, Ga. will be available on 106.3 (WPFT-FM) and cneagles.com/live 15 minutes prior to the start of the contest.