Smith shines on Senior Day as C-N pulls away from Queens

VIDEO: Game Highlights

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

VIDEO: Briana Smith Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Briana Smith scored 21 points adding three assists on 8-for-13 shooting from the field to lead Carson-Newman to an 81-57 victory over South Atlantic Conference foe Queens Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse on Senior Day.

"We wanted to play hard and win like we do every game," Smith said. "Obviously it was a special day and I think we did a good job for our families and our fans. It was definitely good to go out with a win and hear everyone clapping for us when we came off the floor."

Carson-Newman (21-6, 14-5) has now won 10-straight contests against Queens (9-15, 4-14) winning a 10th home game this season. It is the third consecutive year with double-digit home wins marking the first time since 1996-99 that the program has accomplished that. The Lady Eagles are 8-2 over their last 10 senior days.

"I don't really like senior day," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "Most coaches don't especially when you have a class as successful as this one. You don't even want to think about those seniors not being available to me to put on the floor. I was hoping we would have a lead like we had to give them all the proper curtain call individually.

"They have changed the culture of the program. They have us now to where we are a bonafide regional contender every single year and hopefully we can keep it that way once they are gone. A lot of players want to play here and be a part of this environment."

There were nine early lead changes as Queens took a 10-9 advantage with 5:43 to go in the opening period on a layup from Kristian Eanes. C-N responded by scoring 10 of the next 13 to take a 19-13 lead on a triple from Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) with 2:41 to go in the period. Eanes made a pair of layups down the stretch to cut the deficit to four after 10 minutes at 21-17.

The Royals stormed back to start the second quarter to tie the score at 27 halfway through the frame. Following a scoring drought that last 3:22, the Lady Eagles spurted for a 9-0 scoring run limiting the visitors without points for 3:48 allowing the home club to enter the locker room on top 39-30.

Tori Griffin (Strawberry Plains, Tenn.) and Briana Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) combined for 24 points in the first half going 10-for-15 from the field while the rest of the unit shot 5-for-22.

Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) led a rally coming out of the break burying a pair of triples and two foul shots to start C-N on an 8-2 run forcing a timeout from Sarah Jansen at the 8:22 mark with her team behind 47-32.

As a team, the Lady Eagles shot 64 percent from the field in the third quarter as Byrd scored 14 in the frame running the lead out to 18 points at 63-45 entering the fourth thanks to making six of their last seven shots from the field.

Neither team shot better than 35 percent over the final frame as C-N outscored the Royals 42-27 in the second half to roll to an eighth double-digit win over the Royals in the last 10.

Byrd finished the game with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists with Griffin adding 15 points and five boards in 24 minutes.

Marosites hauled in 14 rebounds while Haris Price (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) saw her six-game streak of at least 20-point scoring efforts and 18 games in double figures in-a-row end but filled up the stat sheet with seven points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Jaleah Goff led the Royals in scoring with 18 points and five rebounds. Eanes added 14 points and Lade Adepoju had 10 points and seven rebounds. 

The Lady Eagles get a week off before their final regular-season game of the 2018-19 campaign with a road trip to Newberry on March 2 at 2 p.m.

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