MARS HILL, N.C. – Coming off of back-to-back victories, Carson-Newman hits the road for one final tussle before Christmas break Wednesday night at 6 p.m. against a struggling South Atlantic Conference foe in Mars Hill.
"We are trying to work our way back up now from where we gave that home game up," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We are trying to get everything back in gear. I have been proud of how they have practiced, winning the close game at King and having a good performance at Coker. It's another opportunity to go out and play. It doesn't matter who we play we are looking to compete especially these young kids, try to get them more minutes on the floor before we get back in January."
Not surprisingly, Carson-Newman (8-3, 2-2) is one of the highest scoring teams in the country this year ranking ninth with 83.5 points per game on the year. In six road games, the club has produced 80.5 points per game, better than every other team in the league's season average.
The two clubs tangle for the 68th all-time meeting with C-N holding a commanding 49-18 lead winning four in-a-row and 11 of the last 12. The lone blemish in that span came at Stanford Arena on Feb. 3, 2016, an 83-82 comeback win for the Mars Hill (1-5, 0-2).
In two contests a season ago, the Lady Eagles held leads of 63 and 62 win 118-55 at Holt Fieldhouse and 106-48 on the road scoring a total of 72 points off of turnovers. Overall, Mincey's crew shot 50 percent from the field and made a combined 33 triples.
When the two programs clashed on Jan. 24 at Stanford Arena, C-N reset the SAC record for made triples in a game burying 19 of its 47 attempts while scoring at least 100 points for the first time on the road in 2,927 days and 238 games when the team produced 114 at Brevard on Jan. 20, 2010.
Madison Bunch (Morristown, Tenn.) scored a career-high 19 points in 15 minutes of play going 7-for-13 from the field and 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Six Lady Eagles finished in double digits as no player was on the floor for longer than Kayla Marosites's (Elizabethton, Tenn.) 19 minutes.
Since finishing fourth in the league standings in 2015-16, Mars Hill has been at the bottom of the table posting an 8-52 overall record, a 6-38 league mark and a 5-23 tally at home. The Lions are 1-21 in their last 22 SAC contests and 1-16 in their last 17 home games.
The only conference victory for the club in that span came on Feb. 17, 2018 at Queens when the team pulled out an 80-79 win over the Royals. Mariah Johnson hit a pair of foul shots with 14 seconds remaining that proved to be the finishing touches as Ceara Leavai missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer.
This season, the only victory for the program is a 78-69 home win over Warren Wilson on Nov. 20 entering play Wednesday night with three straight losses. All of the setbacks have come by double figures as the team's scoring margin of minus-22 is the fourth-worst in the nation.
There are two categories where the Lions are the worst team in the nation, field-goal percentage and rebounding margin. Mars Hill is shooting 29 percent from the floor this season making fewer than 30 percent of its attempts in all but two games as the squad is averaging just 53 points per game on the year. The Lions are minus-16 on the glass this season posting 36 boards per night.
Despite being in the bottom five in a bevy of categories, the unit is forcing 21 turnovers per game this season to rank fourth in the league taking in almost eight steals per night.
A pair of players are scoring in double figures led by 13 points from Tatum Boggs and 11 from Johnson. Boggs is shooting 29 percent from the field this year and is 7-for-33 from the floor against SAC schools.
Wednesday's affair can be enjoyed on two platforms. Radio coverage can be found on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) with an audio stream available on cneagles.com/live starting at 5:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off".
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