JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Haris Price, Briana Smith and Ashton Wykle will play their final regular-season home game of their careers Saturday at 2 p.m. when Carson-Newman hosts Queens in South Atlantic Conference action.
"Bri and Ashton have been here for all four and of course Haris has been here for three years," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "They have put a lot of wins on the board for us. They have helped to change the culture of the program. In general the program has been really good over the last several years. It's stuff that I don't know will ever be repeated or duplicated. If I'm the coach here, I think that we can do that but it's such lofty numbers. Words can't really describe what they have meant to us and changed the path that we are on right now."
The Lady Eagles have earned wins in seven of their last nine games held on senior day including an 86-71 win on the final day of the regular season last year over 21st-ranked Wingate in a winner-take-all championship game.
Price will leave as one of the most decorated players in the history of the program after becoming the first player in the school's Division II history to be named a first-team All-American. The Gatlinburg, Tenn. native was named the SAC's Co-Player of the Year last season as the third Lady Eagles to accomplish that feat. She is seventh on the school's scoring list with 1,332 points, sixth in three-pointers with 129 and ninth in assists with 324.
Smith, a 2017-18 honorable mention All-SAC pick, became the 21st player in program history to score 1,000 points for her career as she currently sits in 13th with 1,208 points. The Nashville, Tenn. native has averaged double figures in each of the last three seasons and is 11th nationally in free-throw makes.
Wykle is just on the outside of the top 10 in school history for three-pointers having made 82 over her four seasons. The Greeneville, Tenn. native has scored in double figures nine times including a career-high 18 in her hometown against Tusculum on Jan. 6, 2015.
Sitting at 9-3 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 37-5 in that span.
Saturday is the 12th installment of Carson-Newman (20-6, 13-5) and Queens (9-14, 4-13) with the Lady Eagles winning each of the last nine after dropping the first two of the series. Of those nine victories, all but two have come by double figures, a seven-point game at in the Queen City on Feb. 23, 2015. The average margin of victory has been 23 points.
One of those two tight tussles came on Jan. 12 at Queens when C-N held a 21-point lead with 3:33 to play in the third. The Royals clawed back using a 19-2 scoring run spanning the third and fourth quarter before getting a shot in the waning moments to take the lead only to see it fall short.
After winning twice in an 11-game stretch over December and January, the Royals have won three of their last five games by no fewer than eight points. The two losses however have come by 18 and 15.
Two strong suits for the club are free-throw attempts and turnovers forced ranking third in the league in both statistics. Coach Sarah Jansen's crew is the 20th-worst foul shooting team in the country at 64 percent and turns the ball over 18 times per game, seventh in the SAC.
Mars Hill is the only team that registers fewer rebounds (37) than Queens who is being outrebounded by four per game. The Royals have made the fewest three-pointers with 88 than any other team in the league.
The first meeting saw Lade Adepoju finish with a monster game tallying 17 points and 16 rebounds going 6-for-8 from the field. Kristian Eanes finished with 19 and Jaymi Golden ended the day with 12 points.
Adepoju is the leading scorer at 13.9 points per game on the season while pulling in 8.6 rebounds per game, the fourth-highest clip in the SAC. She has nine double-digit rebounding efforts but has failed to score in double digits in three of her last seven after stringing together 14 straight.
Tune into the broadcast on the Eagle Sports Network starting at 1:45 for "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) with audio and video streams available on cneagles.com/live free of charge.
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