Marosites’s double-double, 21-0 run aides C-N second-half comeback

VIDEO: Game Highlights

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

VIDEO: Kayla Marosites Interview

NEWBERRY, S.C. – Kayla Marosites finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds leading Carson-Newman's 21-0 second-half run to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit to lead the Lady Eagles to a 63-61 victory at Newberry on the final day of the South Atlantic Conference regular season.

"At halftime, coach Mincey got on me and I knew that I needed to step up for our team to perform well," Marosites said. "We knew that if we were going to win this game it would be on the defensive end and that we needed to get stops. We grinded it out on defense."

For Marosites, it is her 19th double-double of the season, matching the most by a C-N player since 2000 with Shari Buford's mark of 19 set during the 2009-10 season. The junior went 8-for-12 from the field and added four steals to the ledge.

With the win, Carson-Newman (22-6, 15-5) secures a top-two finish in the league standings for the third time in school history and first in 13 years.

The Lady Eagles have won seven straight games against Newberry (16-11, 10-10). Saturday is the fourth time this season that the team has overcome a double-digit deficit to come back and win.

"I think we became more aggressive on the offensive end," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We had a pretty good talk at the half. It was needed. I wasn't doing a good job and my leaders weren't doing a good job. We just weren't bringing it. It was a little bit of a challenge to get back out there.

"There was some big shot making. We shot the ball much better and spread the floor a little bit. It was a better offensive performance. On the defensive end, I thought Haris [Price] did a great job on Britten. I thought [Chanler Geer] stymied Essex."

Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) scored the first points of the game for either team with a triple from the left point just over a minute into the contest. Newberry scored nine of the next 11 but failed to score over the next 5:37. The Lady Eagles scored six straight but an and-one from Meg Essex in the final half minute gave Newberry a 14-13 edge after a period.

Carson-Newman scored four of the first six points in the second period to take a 17-16 lead two minutes into the second before going ice cold. Newberry scored 13 unanswered, the longest run against C-N all season, and scored 20 of the final 25 points to take a 36-22 lead into the break. It was the lowest scoring half of the season for C-N passing a 27-point first half at Anderson on Feb. 13.

The Lady Eagles were limited to nine points in the second matching their lowest scoring output of any quarter this season doing so in the first frame at Wingate on Dec. 1. Mincey's side went 6-for-12 from inside the three-point line but 3-for-17 from distance in the opening half.

Out of the locker room, the Lady Eagles found their stroke outscoring the Wolves 22-7 in the third period. Carson-Newman scored 21 unanswered points spanning the third and fourth quarters to go on top 51-43 two minutes into the final frame.

Meg Essex snapped a nearly eight-minute scoring drought with a three-pointer at the top of the key to pull the Wolves within five and start a comeback. It took five minutes but a layup from Kelsey McDermott with 2:22 to go in the game tied the tally at 58.

Marosites changed the script providing an and-one on the next possession and burying two foul shots with 1:12 to go to get the lead back to 63-58. It would be the last time the Lady Eagles scored missing four free throws down the stretch.

McDermott buried a trey with 13 ticks to go to make it a two-point game. After C-N was charged with an offensive foul on the in-bound, the Wolves got their final touch. McDermott popped open at the top of the key missed a triple that was rebounded by Shelby Britten. The senior missed a stick-back as she tumbled to the ground as time expired.

The Lady Eagles forced nine turnovers in the second half scoring 15 points off of those giveaways while winning the points in the battle tally 14-2 over the final 20 minutes.

Byrd finished the game with 16 points making seven of her 14 tries with Tori Griffin (Strawberry Plains, Tenn.) added 10 points. Outside of the three double-digit scorers, the rest of the club combined for 13 points going 5-for-21 from the field.

Essex led her side in scoring with 15 points grabbing five rebounds. Britten filled up the stat sheet with 14 points, seven assists and six boards scoring just three in the second half. McDermott was the final Wolf in double figures with 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Carson-Newman is the No. 3 seed in the SAC Tournament after Wingate beat Tusculum in overtime Saturday afternoon. The Lady Eagles will host Lincoln Memorial Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. from Holt Fieldhouse.

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