MARS HILL, N.C. – Kayla Marosites crossed over 500 career rebounds as Carson-Newman blitzed Mars Hill 86-53 Wednesday evening at Stanford Arena to push its South Atlantic Conference record over .500 on the season.
"We didn't really get off to a good start," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "Obviously we didn't score great in the first quarter. The third quarter was really bad in terms of scoring. I thought we had opportunities but we were a little zapped in terms of energy. You are happy to win. I felt like we left a lot of points on the floor in terms of what we could have scored."
Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) finished with her third straight double-double and seventh of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds pushing her career total at C-N to 502.
"It's awesome," Marosites said. "I didn't have any idea that I was that close. It's really important for me to rebound – that's what I like to do. I have put more emphasis on boxing out even harder than I did last year because I know that they are targeting me this year."
In the 68th rendition of the series, Carson-Newman (9-3, 3-3) wins for the 50th time and 12th in the last 13 tries over Mars Hill (1-6, 0-3).
It was an 11-8 contest with 5:45 to go in the opening frame before the Lady Eagles ripped off a 9-0 burst to stretch the lead to a dozen. A three-pointer from the right wing by Brooke Vilcinskas with two seconds to go ending the scoring drought and made it 20-11 after a quarter.
Carson-Newman packaged together spurts of 7-0 and 9-0 in the second stanza with the latter pushing the differential to 20 points at 42-22 courtesy of a three-pointer from the right corner by Tori Griffin (Strawberry Plains, Tenn.). The Lady Eagles closed the half on a 13-5 run to hold a 44-25 advantage at the break.
The Lady Eagles scored the first three points of the second half on an and-one by Kayla Marosites only to see Mars Hill score 10 of the next 12 to cut the margin to 14 at 49-35 halfway through the third. C-N shot 32 percent from the field in the quarter but pushed the margin back to the halfway tally of 19 entering the fourth.
Spanning the frame, the Lady Eagles scored 12 of 14 to get the bulge to 26 points on a layup on the right block by Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) as the scoreboard displayed 69-43 as the Lady Eagles coasted to victory.
Carson-Newman's bench outscored Mars Hill 27-2 in the game as 11 different players scored. Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) led C-N with 16 points, five assists and four steals and is now four points from 1,000 during her time with the Lady Eagles.
"That's something we have really emphasized over the last few weeks is our effort and our energy," Price said. "I think that we kind of had it tonight but not as much as we had the past two games. We were kind of disappointed about that. Over Christmas break we have to stay in shape so we can come back with as much energy as we had."
Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) tallied 15 points and six boards while Byrd ended the night with 11 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Eagles controlled the glass with 49-34 lead in the category posting 19 second-chance points, the second-most in a game this season. With 15 steals and 25 points off of giveaways, Mincey's squad forced 29 turnovers.
Mariah Johnson led all scorers on the night with 19 points, 15 of which came after the break, going 7-for-14 from the field. Alexis Pardue added 13 points and five boards.
After opening Christmas presents, the Lady Eagles travel to Shorter for the final game of 2018 on Dec. 29 for a 2 p.m. opening tap from Rome, Ga.
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