JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Looking to become the seventh coach in South Atlantic Conference history to win 100 conference games, Mike Mincey leads Carson-Newman into Holt Fieldhouse against last place Mars Hill Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.
"We have a very limited number of games left," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We know what is at stake. Giving up a game to a team with a losing record would not help your cause with your resume. We were down by nine at the half to L-R. Mars Hill was up one at the half against them and I think it was a two-point game going into the fourth quarter. They've had some games where they have gotten hot and hit some shots. I think our guys are excited to come back home. It's a chance to continue that momentum we felt at the end of the L-R game."
Mincey has won 99 South Atlantic Conference games in his eight seasons at the helm. He would become the seventh SAC coach in the history of the league to reach triple digits during their tenure. Eddie Carter is the program's leader in conference victories with 107 over his 14 years with the Lady Eagles, 12 of which were as a member of the SAC.
Carson-Newman (16-5, 9-4) has been outrebounded 10 times this season after doing so a total of five in 35 games during the 2017-18 season. Opponents have won the rebounding battle in each of the last four by an average of eight per contest.
In Mincey's tenure the team is 105-30 when being on the plus side on the glass versus a 43-44 mark when their foe has more boards. Opponents are posting 13.5 second-chance points this season having produced more than C-N 11 times including in four of the team's five losses.
Sitting at 6-3 at home on the year, the program will need to win their four remaining home games to secure a three straight 10-win season at Holt Fieldhouse. It would be the first time since 1996-97 through 1998-99 that the program has had three successive years with double-digit victories going 32-4 in that span.
The two clubs are facing off for the 69th affair as C-N is leading Mars Hill (1-16, 0-12) 50-18 behind five straight wins and 12 of the last 13. During the current five-game winning streak, C-N has scored no fewer than 86 points winning by at least 27 and as many as 63 for an average of 44 per game.
The lone blemish came at Stanford Arena on Feb. 3, 2016, an 83-82 comeback win for the Lions. The Lady Eagles are 28-6 inside of Holt Fieldhouse in the series having won six in-a-row since losing 87-78 on Jan. 18, 2012.
In the first meeting this year, C-N secured an early bulge and coasted to an 86-53 win on the road as Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) scored 15 points and had 14 rebounds to eclipse 500 for her career. Carson-Newman was plus-15 on the boards with 19 second-chance points, 25 points off of turnovers and outscored the Lions' bench 27-2.
Mars Hill is one of eight teams in America than has one or zero wins on the year having lost 14 straight games, the eighth-longest streak among clubs in Division II. The only win for the program this season came on Nov. 20, a 78-69 triumph over Warren Wilson.
The Lions are one of 10 teams affiliated with a conference that has yet to produce a league victory having lost 14 in-a-row to the SAC dating back to an 80-79 win at Queens on Feb. 17, 2018. Over the last three years, the program is 8-62 against the conference including a 1-31 stretch over the last 32 outings.
Losers of eight straight on the road to begin the year, the Lions are losing by an average of 31 points per game in road efforts with only one single-digit loss, their last game at Coker, 78-70. In all games, the team is minus-21.1, the third-worst margin in the nation behind Texas A&m International's minus-29.8 and Ohio Valley's minus-29.6.
There are 16 statistical categories in which the Lions are ranked last in the conference including scoring offense (57.6), scoring defense (78.7), rebounds per game (35.7), field-goal percentage (32) and field-goal percentage defense (43).
Mariah Johnson is the team's top scoring option ranking 11th in the league in points per game at 14 per night. She finished with 19 in the first meeting this year on seven of 14 shooting but had seven turnovers.
Fans can enjoy a night of basketball for free on the Eagle Sports Network. If residents of the Lakeway region want to kick back to listen to the radio they can flip on Mountain Country 106.3 WPFT-FM. For those outside of the area, a high definition video stream and an audio option is available on cneagles.com/live beginning at 5:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off".
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