Griffin, Marosites grind out second straight win over Tornado

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Interview

VIDEO: Tori Griffin Interview 

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman women's basketball team took down the King Tornado for the second time in four days with an 82-72 victory at the Student Center Complex on Saturday.

The Lady Eagles (4-0, 0-0 South Atlantic Conference) were led by senior Tori Griffin (Strawberry Plains, Tenn.) who finished with 23 points on 9-16 shooting including five made threes to go along with three rebounds.

"I didn't particularly have a good game last time we played King," Griffin said. "…My team really helped on getting me open looks for my shot, I just happen to do good today."

After the Lady Eagles scored 40 first-quarter points against the Tornado on Nov. 13 at Mossy Creek, C-N came out a bit colder on the road, going just 1-10 from downtown in the first quarter of this one. Despite the rough shooting start, Carson-Newman maintained an 18-14 advantage heading into the second frame.

"We were getting the same shots tonight, I felt like, we just weren't making them," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said.

The team struggled to find their touch in the second, scoring just three field goals on 14 attempts and putting up just a dozen on the board. Conversely, the Tornado (1-3, 0-0 Conference Carolinas) found slight rhythm in the second frame, nailing a pair of threes and scoring 18 total points, taking a 32-30 lead into the halftime break 

"Defensively, it was the same," Mincey said. "We gave up the same amount of points in the first half that we did at our place. It was all about the shot percentage, we just weren't making shots."

C-N's leading scorer at halftime was Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, TN) with seven points. The senior finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds, playing all 40 minutes of the game. Marosites fell just shy of what would have been a second consecutive 20-point, 20-rebound game after posting the first such game in program history on Nov.13 against King, pouring in 27 points and 22 boards.

"Just an iron man type mentality for her," Mincey said. "And I thought there were some things that maybe she could have probably scored a few more points but she almost goes for 20-20 again, back-to-back games against King and that would have been phenomenal to get that done."

After making just three shots from downtown in the first half on an abysmal 18 percent clip, the team heated up from beyond the arc after the halftime break in large part thanks to senior Kelci Marosites (Elizabethton, TN) who finished with 14 points and four made three-pointers.

"This was a senior's night," Mincey said. "When you're on the road like this, that's what it takes is to have senior leadership and that experience come out and kind of lead us to victory when we weren't necessarily playing our best."

King was led by center Kori West who finished with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting and 10 rebounds.

C-N was without junior guard Addison Byrd for the second straight game due to injury. Byrd averaged 16 points per game for the team's first two contests including a 21-point outing in their 77-69 win against then-No.21 Lander on Nov. 9.  

The Lady Eagles next visit Clayton State on Friday, Nov. 22 in Atlanta, Georgia. That game can be heard on the Eagle Sports Network and can be followed live on Twitter @CNathletics.

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