JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Lenoir-Rhyne shot 63 percent from the floor in the second half in a 78-75 upset victory over 20th-ranked Carson-Newman Wednesday evening at Holt Fieldhouse to put an end to the Lady Eagles 27-game home winning streak.
"When you have a player like Suddreth who is shooting it so well you have to key in on her," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "It opened a lot of things up. I didn't really see anything that we hadn't seen before. They executed their plays well and Suddreth made some tough shots. We didn't have anyone to step up and guard her.
Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) became the 21st player in school history to join the school's 1,000-point club making her jumper with under a minute to go. She finished with 14 points, four assists and four boards.
The last loss for Carson-Newman (6-3, 1-2) at home came on Jan. 7, 2017 when the Lady Eagles 80-75 in overtime to Wingate putting an end to the country's sixth-longest home winning streak.
Lenoir-Rhyne (6-3, 2-1) had lost four straight in the series picking up a win over the Lady Eagles for the first time since the 2013 season.
Each team started red hot from the field combined missing one of the first 10 attempts from the field. Tied at 11, C-N ripped off an 8-2 run to take a 19-13 lead on a triple from Kelci Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) with 4:06 to go in the frame. The Lady Eagles failed to score over the next three minutes as L-R capped the quarter on a 10-2 burst to deadlock the tally at 21.
L-R shot 22 percent from the field in the second stanza but stayed within striking distance. An 8-2 surge from the Lady Eagles made it 32-25 with 4:11 to go before the break. The margin reached eight with 1:02 to go in the half but the Bears scored the final four to go into the locker room trailing 37-33.
Madi Suddreth had 15 points and Karlie Bearden had 10 as the duo combined to go 9-for-16 from the field in the first half. The rest of the unit went 3-for-16 for eight points for the Bears.
Out of the break, Lenoir-Rhyne gained momentum scoring 13 of the first 16 to go on top 46-40 as the visitors made six of its first nine. Carson-Newman went through a stretch of 5:08 without a field goal as the Bears stretched the lead to eight. Two foul shots and a streaking layup off of a steal as the buzzer sounded by Smith cut the margin to three at 54-51 heading to the fourth.
C-N never go over the hump in the second half trailing by seven with 1:11 to go in the contest. A jumper from Smith a layup and a bucket off of a steal from Kelci Marosites made it a three-point game with 43 ticks left.
After Kendall Toineeta made a pair of foul shots Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) hit a cutting layup and a steal from Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) led to bucket to make it a 76-75 contest with 11 seconds to play.
Hanna McClung was fouled and the true freshman made a pair of foul shots to push the differential to three with nine seconds on the clock. Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) had a look from 27-feet away from the bucket at the top of the key but her attempt came up short to close out the affair.
"This is two games in-a-row where I'm not sure we could play any worse than what we have played," Mincey said. "It doesn't matter who we are playing and we are a shell of what we once were. We are not playing crisp. What I take away from it is that our backs were against the wall and we start playing hard. We are not playing hard right now. There is no drill in practice that is going to improve your effort other than get on the line and let's run.
"Effort is definitely an issue. When we play hard and play together we are a really good basketball team. When we don't play hard and don't play together we are just an average basketball team. That's why people are beating us because we are an average Carson-Newman basketball team."
Lenoir-Rhyne went 7-for-10 from the floor in the fourth quarter and 9-for-10 at the charity stripe to close out the affair strong. Overall, the Bears were 20-for-22 at the line in the game.
Smith became the 21st player in school history to join the school's 1,000-point club making her jumper with under a minute to go. She finished with 14 points, four assists and four boards.
Price led the way on the C-N side of things with 18 points in 37 minutes as Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) ended the night with 17 points.
Kayla Marosites stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals in 28 minutes of action.
Mincey's unit finished the game 8-for-29 from long range but made 18 of 34 attempts from inside the arc. The four double figure scorers went 20-for-39 from the field while the rest of the unit mustered a six of 24 effort.
Suddreth finished the game with 30 points and seven rebounds going 10-for-17 from the field. Toineeta had 16 points and nine assists and Bearden finished with 14. Those three players went 22-for-39 from the field while the rest of the team went 5-for-17 in the game.
The Lady Eagles take the weekend off before starting a four-game road trip to end 2018 with a non-conference bout up the road at King on Dec. 12 with a 6:30 p.m. opening tap scheduled.
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