Turnovers, three-point struggles ground Lady Eagles in first loss

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Recaps Clayton State 

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Carson-Newman women's basketball team suffered from poor three-point shooting and turnovers in their first loss of the season 78-68 to Clayton State at the UNG Convocation Center.

The Lady Eagles (4-1) shot 7-for-24 from downtown and turned the ball over 18 times in the defeat.

"We've been an offensive team, we're averaging about 87 a game, we put up 14 on the board in the third quarter," Carson-Newman head coach Mike Mincey said. "You're not going to win very many games like that."

C-N was led by senior Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) who scored 18 points on 8-for-16 shooting and pulled down a dozen rebounds. The reigning U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women's Division II National Player of the Week secured her fourth double-double in five games. 

"Across the stat line, we're looking for people to do multiple things," Mincey said. "It's one thing to be able to score, it's another to be able to score and get rebounds or to get assists or take care of the ball."

The team's second-leading scorer was senior Tori Griffin (Strawberry Plains, Tenn.) who poured in 13 points and posted two steals.

The previous four matchups between these two teams had been decided by a combined ten points. This game marked the first double-digit difference in the final score since March 2007, a 60-36 victory for the Lakers.

Carson-Newman led 22-18 after a first-quarter that saw them on fire from beyond the arc, nailing four shots from deep on seven attempts while holding the Lakers (3-2) to 35 percent shooting from the field.

The Lady Eagles cooled down considerably from deep the rest of the way, missing both of their attempts in the second quarter and going 3-for-15 from beyond the arc in the second half.

After leading 38-35 at the half, Clayton State grabbed the momentum in the third quarter, winning it 21-14. Carson-Newman shot 5-for-15 from the field in the frame. 

The Lakers, who finished fourth in the Peach Belt Conference last season and made it to the NCAA Southeast Regional where they lost to No.3 Wingate, saw senior Kelsie Towns score a career-high 21 points on 5-for-10 three-point shooting and 8-for-14 shooting overall.

"That's kind of shame on us defensively for not being able to do a better job getting matched up on the right people," Mincey said. "The second half, once they kind of got the feeling and made those shots, it was just really hard for us to turn the tide." 

Fellow Laker senior Taneria Wilson, a third-team All-Peach Belt pick, tallied 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds. C-N was outrebounded by six in the contest.

Despite Clayton State being one of the most foul-prone teams in the nation, committing 20 infractions per contest, Carson-Newman went to the line just three times, knocking down every attempt. The Lady Eagles also kept their hands to themselves this game, committing just nine total fouls and sending Clayton State to the line just seven times, several of which stemmed from fouls C-N committed intentionally to conserve the clock at the end of the game.

Carson-Newman will take on No.15 North Georgia in their second and final game of the North Georgia Classic at the UNG Convocation Center in Dahlonega, Ga. The contest will represent the last non-conference matchup for the Lady Eagles.

The game can be heard on the radio at 106.3 (WPFT-FM) and on online at cneagles.com/live. The broadcast will start 15 minutes prior to opening tip. Follow @CNathletics for the latest news and notes for the weekend.