Elite efficiency powers C-N to dominant win at Catawba

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

VIDEO: Addison Byrd Interview

SALISBURY, N.C. – Carson-Newman produced its best field-goal percentage of the season shooting 56 percent from the field in a 90-57 victory at Catawba Saturday afternoon inside of Goodman Gym to win its sixth straight game over the Indians.

"I think this a good gym for us," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "It's very much like Holt Fieldhouse with the backdrop. I think we shot it really well in the first half. We kind of stubbed our toe in the third quarter by turning the ball over. I would have liked to see what would have happened if we got shot attempts."

The 33-point differential matches the largest margin of victory for either side in the series as Carson-Newman (19-6, 12-5) won 81-48 on Feb. 21, 1991. The Lady Eagles picked up a third win in-a-row at Goodman Gym for the first in the series.

During the six-game winning streak, C-N has scored at least 80 points in each game winning each of the last four by double figures and an average of 26 points.

Briana Smith (Nasvhille, Tenn.) finished the game with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. Her career scoring tally escalated to 1,198 passing Zoriah Williams (2008-12) and tying her former teammate Kailyn Brooks (2013-17) for 13th on the ledger.

In the first meeting this season, the Lady Eagles shot 55 percent as Saturday's effort surpassed that tally. C-N has shot at least 50 percent in seven of the eight quarters against Catawba (12-11, 7-9).

After Catawba scored the first bucket of the contest, C-N responded by scoring seven straight points. The Indians came back to tie the margin at nine only to see the Lady Eagles rattle off 10 of the next 12 to go up 19-11 on a layup by Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.). The Indians cut the deficit to four at 22-18 only to see the Lady Eagles score the final five of the first frame with Taylor Goforth (Friendsville, Tenn.) burying a triple to make it a 27-18 after 10 minutes.

The teams traded 6-0 spurts to open the second stanza. An 8-2 C-N run pushed the margin into double figures for the first time in the game on a three-point play from Price just shy of six minutes into the second. Catawba closed the gap to nine before the Lady Eagles closed strong scoring six of the final seven to take a 49-35 advantage into the locker room.

Both teams came out of the half ice cold as Price made a pair of foul shots at the 5:13 mark for the first points for either side. Catawba mustered just four points in the frame, the second-lowest output in any frame by a C-N opponent. Mincey's side outscored the Indians 17-4 scoring 13 of the final 14 to hold a 66-39 lead after three quarters.

Carson-Newman lit it up in the fourth quarter shooting 71 percent from the field to swell the margin to 35 before a streaking layup off of a turnover by Elizabeth Webb in the final 10 seconds snapped a scoring drought of 3:30 to end the contest.

After being outrebounded by three in the first half, Carson-Newman was plus-19 on the glass in the second half producing a 28-9 margin over the final 20 minutes.

"We had toyed around with coming back out in the press because we thought the pace of the game had spent their legs," Mincey said. "We didn't get off to a great start in the second half. I thought in the half court they limited second-chance opportunities and getting off good shots."

Price notched a fifth-straight 20-point scoring effort and ninth of the year with 23 points going 10-for-15 from the field in the process. Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) went 7-for-10 from the field for 16 points adding four boards and four assists.

"I think we were more motivated this game," Byrd said. "Last game against Anderson we couldn't hit anything. Everyone was thinking that we need to get buckets so we can get our energy back up. I think that's what helped us."

Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists over 27 minutes.

The Lady Eagles forced 18 turnovers and converted that into 26 points while dominating the paint to the tune of a 48-20 margin.

Madison Hallman led the Indians in scoring with 17 points, all of them coming in the first half as she took just two shots in the second half.

Shemya Stanbeck tallied 11 points and nine rebounds, six on the offensive end and Elizabeth Webb registered 10.

The Lady Eagles play their final two home games of the season next week starting with a Wednesday showdown with Tusculum at 6 p.m. looking to complete the series sweep of the Pioneers.

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