DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Mika Wester, Kayla Marosites and Addison Byrd combined for 61 points going 24-for-38 from the field to help third-ranked Carson-Newman take down Georgia College Friday evening at the UNG Convocation Center on the first day of action in the UNG Nighthawk Classic.
"They are really good basketball players," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "I am a very lucky coach where Mika makes a tough shot, Kayla had a double-double tonight and Byrd trust the process of hard work. She plays really hard. She is very skilled and her effort a lot of times leads to big rebounds and scoring.
"The kids came out in that third quarter especially the starters to push that thing out there and get us a little cushion. The second group that came in played pretty well tonight too. The freshmen that came in have to be better and it's something we will continue to work on."
Wester finished the night with a season-high 31 points going 12-for-19 from the field while adding six rebounds and six assists to lead Carson-Newman (3-0)
Marosites registered a double-double for the second-straight game with 14 points and 10 boards while Byrd stuffed the stat sheet with a career-high 16 points, seven boards and a pair each of assists, steals and blocks.
"We were pressing them early," Byrd said. "We had a lot of good energy. When we are able to get buckets off of our defense, it helps us offensively. I've been working all summer. I knew that if I wanted to play this year, I had to work on my game."
Sydney Cleveland buried a triple from the right wing to put the Bobcats on top 9-6 with 7:43 to go in the first frame. The Eagles offense exploded countering with a 13-3 run to go on top 19-12. Nine turnovers by Georgia College (0-3) led to 11 points as C-N led 24-16 after 10 minutes.
The Bobcats came out of the second quarter on fire scoring the first 10 points as a Kenyatta Storms triple from the left point made it 26-24 and forced a timeout from Mincey. Carson-Newman responded by scoring the next 12 and 17 of the next 19 to go on top 41-28 on a three-pointer from Madison Bunch (Morristown, Tenn.) with 2:50 to go before the break. It would be the last field goal of the half as C-N went into the locker room on top 43-36.
There were two moments where it looked like the Lady Eagles were about to put the game out of reach in the third, both with 6-0 bursts. The lead stretched to 17 at 64-47 with 1:44 to go in the frame but the Bobcats ended the quarter on 7-3 run to make it a 67-54 contest entering the fourth.
After trading triples to start the fourth, the Lady Eagles scored 14 unanswered points to push the lead to a game-high 27 at 84-57. With 4:19 to go and C-N on top 86-59, each side made subs as Mincey brought in the five freshman. The Bobcats scored the next 11 and 13 of the final 15 to make the margin closer.
Georgia College started the game by making its first four shots from the field but made just 35 percent of its attempts the rest of the night.
The Bobcats were led by Sydney Cleveland's 17 points but the senior went 6-for-17 from the field in the affair. Jasmine McSwain chipped in 16 points and five boards going 7-for-12 from the field.
The Lady Eagles tee it up on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the host of the event, No. 14 North Georgia. Broadcast coverage ignites at 5:45 p.m. with "The AEC Countdown to Tip-off" on 106.3 (WPFT-FM) and cneagles.com/live with the Eagle Sports Network providing the captions.
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