JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – In a foul-filled Tuesday evening outing at Holt Fieldhouse, third-ranked Carson-Newman scored 60 points in the second half to down Clayton State 90-86 as the teams combined for 51 fouls and 59 foul shots.
"In the first half we got in foul trouble," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We did not adjust to the way the game was being called whatsoever. We didn't do a good job of taking care of the ball. We got out of sync because of foul trouble. The way that things were we were going to have grind one out. I'm very happy that we won but I'm very disappointed in how we played."
Senior guard Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) led all players with 31 points scoring 27 after halftime adding six assists. She went 14-for-14 from the free-throw tying the C-N record for makes in a game and makes without a miss set first by Kim Weens on Jan. 20, 1987 against Lee. Andrew Fitzgerald went 14-for-17 from the stripe against Newberry on Jan. 28, 2004.
"In a game like this when it is so physical, you can't get in your head," Price said. "I think that's where I tried to control it and keep my composure. We were trying to match how physical they were and take care of the ball [in the second half]."
In the eighth all-time meeting, Carson-Newman (5-0) ties the series at four and pushes its home winning streak to 27 games. Clayton State (2-2) drops a game to a team ranked third in the nation for the first time in four tries in the history of the program.
The Lakers scored five unanswered to take a 5-2 edge before C-N ripped off six straight to force a timeout from Kaleena Coleman with 5:36 to go in the first quarter. The Lady Eagles turned the ball over eight times leading to seven points for the visitors but led 20-16 after the opening 10 minutes.
The second stanza was Carson-Newman's worst scoring output of the season so far making one field goal in 12 attempts failing to hit a shot from the field in the final 6:28. After opening up a 28-19 advantage, the Lady Eagles allowed the Lakers to score 11 straight to take a 30-28 lead.
A pair of foul shots from Sydney Pearce (Johnson City, Tenn.) with 25 seconds remaining made it a 30-30 contest at the break. C-N made all eight of its foul shots in the quarter.
After the two sides traded buckets, the Lady Eagles used a 9-2 run to open up a 47-39 lead halfway through the third. For the fifth consecutive game, Mincey's unit made at least 50 percent of its shot from the field making 57 to get the swell to 57-49 entering the final frame.
A quick surge from Clayton State made it a two-point game on an and-one by Taneria Wilson to cap an 8-0 run and make it 59-57 game with 8:12 to go. An 8-2 surge by the Lady Eagles stretched the margin to 74-65 with 3:50 to go.
The two sides stayed hot down the stretch as C-N made six of its final seven and the Lakers went 15-for-23 from the field as CSU outscored the home group 37-33 over the final 10 minutes.
Kelci Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) stuffed the stat sheet off of the bench with 13 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) was the only other player in double figures with 12 points on five of eight shooting.
Taneria Wilson was Clayton State's leading scorer with 26 points off of the bench going 11-for-19 from the field. Aleisha Merriweather went 9-for-11 from the field going for 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals. Madison Newby dropped 13 points.
C-N turned the ball over 22 times, its most since Nov. 26, 2017 when it gave it away 22 times against Columbus State. The Lakers turned that into 24 points.
The Lady Eagles will head to Columbus State after the Thanksgiving break on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. from the Lumpkin Center. Air time is 1:45 p.m. from the Peach State on 106.3 (WPFT-FM) and cneagles.com/live.
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