BRISTOL, Tenn. – Carson-Newman plays its final four games of the 2018 calendar year on the road beginning with a non-conference affair Wednesday evening at King inside of the Student Center Complex starting at 6:30 p.m.
"We are not playing really well up to this point especially over the last four games," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We are not playing up to our expectations. Looking at us and how to get us fixed is something we have been talking about. Going to King is another opportunity to get things corrected."
Having lost two straight games, 11 losses had occurred since the last time Carson-Newman (6-3) dropped back-to-back games when Mincey's unit fell 102-99 in overtime to Lincoln Memorial and 85-75 at Columbus State during the final week of November 2016 as the team began the year 2-3. The last three-game losing skid came from Feb. 13-20, 2016.
The Lady Eagles hold a 20-0 all-time advantage against King (3-3) marking the best start to a series in C-N's history as the two clubs started playing in 1981. Previously the school had begun 18-0 against Lincoln Memorial, 17-0 versus Brevard and 16-0 against Mars Hill. Fourteen of the outings have been decided by double digits with the closest outing over the last three decades coming on Nov. 16, 2013 at King when C-N held on for a 78-75 triumph.
In two affairs a year ago, one on each clubs home floor, Mincey's unit won by 28 and 44 points as the school scored 55 points off of turnovers over the two games despite failing to shoot 50 percent in either game. C-N dominated the paint winning the tally 92-48.
Only four different players scored in double figures in the two outings a season ago for the Lady Eagles with a dozen different players scoring. Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) had the standout game in the home affair two days before the New Year dropping 27 points while going 12-for-18 from the floor.
King's offense struggled to find a flow shooting 37 percent from the field and going 13-for-47 from long range while turning the ball over 52 times. Kristen Cupples scored in double figures in each game averaging 12.5 points per game going 10-for-19 from the field.
The Tornado have played just one game at home this season, a 78-62 victory over Virginia-Wise on Nov. 15. The Student Center Complex has been friendly as the team is 25-5 over the last three seasons with three of those losses coming by single digits.
With the ball, the team is shooting 39 percent from the field but 27 percent from three-point range ranking 245th in efficiency making just 39 this season. King has not made better than 44 percent of its shots in a game this season making less than 39 in half of its efforts.
Rebounding has been a strong suit for the Tornado especially on the defensive end ranking 34th in the nation with 30 per contest averaging 42 overall per game.
Junior center Kori West ranks 13th in the country with nearly 12 rebounds per game, nine of which come on the defensive end to rank eighth in the nation. The only time this season she failed to reach double figures in boards came against Wise when she had nine. West also leads the team in scoring with 16 per night including a pair of efforts with at least 20 points.
Cupples has been one of the better sharpshooters in America shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc on the season, ranking in the top 50. The guard has been in double figures in all but one game this season knocking down 47 percent of her shot attempts this year.
"Josh has done a really good job up there," Mincey said. "Kori has improved so much. She is playing really well and is an athletic big. She is going to be a load to handle under the rim. This year is different for us because we do have some size that we can throw at them."
Audio coverage can be found locally on 106.3 (WPFT-FM) and online by visiting cneagles.com/live starting 15 minutes prior to the opening tip.
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