JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman, the best foul shooting team in the country, missed eight free throws and went 4-for-23 from long range to see its furious comeback fall shy in an 84-81 loss to 24th-ranked Anderson Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse in South Atlantic Conference action.
The Lady Eagles went 24-for-42 from inside the arc in the game and missed five shots at the line in the final 10 minutes. Four triples converted were the second-lowest on the year.
"To start the game we get down 11-0," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "In that first quarter, shots were in and popping out. We just couldn't get them to fall. You can't spot Anderson 11 points on your home floor and expect to comeback and we did come back. We just aren't shooting the ball in our home facility like we were last year. I think it caught up with us tonight that we can't shoot the outside ball and converting at the free-throw line."
Carson-Newman (11-4, 4-3) had won seven straight home games against top 25 teams since a 67-64 loss to fifth-ranked Glenville State on Jan. 3, 2004 for Mincey's first loss at home to a ranked club.
The Lady Eagles are now 33-4 at home over the last three seasons with three, three-point losses and a five-point overtime setback in that span.
Anderson (13-2, 7-0) stays hot winning for an 11th consecutive outing to improve the 12th-longest winning streak in America. It also breaks a three-game losing streak to the Orange and Blue.
It was a sluggish start for the home club at Anderson scored the first 11 points of the game before Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) made two foul shots with 5:46 to go in the opening frame to put C-N on the board. After falling behind 16-4 halfway through the quarter, C-N closed the quarter on a 13-4 run to make it 20-17.
A 6-0 surge produced the first lead of the day for C-N after two foul shots from Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) made it 29-28 with just over five minutes to go before the break. Despite a scoring drought that lasted nearly four minutes, C-N trailed by two heading into the locker room at 41-39.
C-N shot 53 percent in the second and Anderson shot 67 percent after both sides were below 37 percent efficiency in the opening 10 minutes. It was the third time this season that Mincey's unit trailed after 20 minutes.
A nip and tuck start saw the Trojans limit C-N without points for nearly three minutes as they broke a 47-all tie with a 15-7 close to the frame to take a 62-54 lead into the final period.
With 5:42 in the game, the Lady Eagles pulled within four on an old-fashioned three-point play by Smith. It would the closest the group would get the rest of the day. The Trojans scored the next six unanswered points in less than 90 seconds and an 11-3 run to get the margin to a game-high 13 at 80-67 with 2:47 left.
Carson-Newman surged with four steals, two on in-bound plays using a 14-2 run to make it an 82-81 game with 18.4 seconds to play on a running layup on the left baseline by Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.). Erin Cepeda, a freshman, made a pair of foul shots to make it a three-point game. With six seconds left, Byrd pulled the trigger from the right point and missed it strong on the last chance for the home group.
Price scored 20 of her game-high 27 points in the final 10 minutes becoming the first C-N player this season to score at least 25 in straight affairs. She added three rebounds and two steals. She moved up to 20th on the school's scoring list in the process.
Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) produced a sixth straight double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds adding three pilfers. Smith and Byrd added 16 and 14 respectively as the rest of the roster scored a total of six points.
Alexy Mollenhauer had 15 points, 15 boards and seven assists while Madison Baggett added 14 points and 10 rebounds. The duo became the first pair to record a double-double against C-N in 75 games and 776 days when Columbus State's duo of Alexis Carter and Ashley Asouzu did so.
Taylor Hair nearly doubled her previous career high with 21 points in the game over 28 minutes to lead Anderson in scoring. Ace Easter provided 15 points and six helpers.
Anderson, the second-best rebounding team in the country, was plus-15 on the glass scoring 15 second-chance points thanks to 16 offensive rebounds.
The Lady Eagles lace it up again on Saturday for a 2 p.m. opening tap at Queens to open up a modest two-game road streak.
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