VIDEO: Mike Mincey Recaps Anderson
ANDERSON, S.C. – Despite three Lady Eagles posting double-figure scoring numbers, Carson-Newman lost its last road game of 2019 in a nail-biter, 77-74 to No.16 Anderson at the Abney Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
The game was tied at 67 with 3:55 remaining when the defending South Atlantic Conference champion Lady Trojans scored six unanswered points, fueled in-part by an untimely C-N turnover, that elevated Anderson to a 75-69 lead with 1:47 to go, an advantage they would not relinquish.
"We've talked about something that has really plagued us in the losses that we've had this year is turnovers at the most critical times," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We're 5-4 right now and we're actually pretty good but we're 5-4 and it's because of just critical plays that we're not making at the most inopportune times and that's why we're carrying these close losses out right now."
The Lady Eagles (5-4, 1-2 South Atlantic Conference) were able to get back within three with 11 seconds to go but saw a Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) three-pointer hit the heel and bounce away as the buzzer sounded.
Marosites finished with a game-high 23 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. The double-double was the 41st of the senior's career, tying Shari Buford's program record set from 2006-2010.
"We know what we're going to get out of Kayla every single game," Mincey said. "… To have a player like her and to do what she's capable of doing has meant a lot to us but it's very sad for me as a coach to see that we have somebody like that and that we're still sitting at 1-2 in the league and 5-4 at this point and time is kind of very disheartening."
Carson-Newman also struggled to finish defensive possessions as the Lady Trojans (7-1, 3-0 South Atlantic Conference) took down four offensive rebounds in the final three minutes, giving them extra scoring opportunities and burning precious seconds off the clock as C-N was mounting a comeback.
Anderson won the rebounding battle 41-39, a dozen of which were offensive boards. The Lady Trojans came into the contest with the best rebounding differential in America, posting a plus-19 margin on the glass while averaging 48 boards per game, the seventh-most.
The Lady Eagles led 41-40 at the halftime break but scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter. The team has held a halftime lead eight times this season and has lost four of those contests. It was a back-and-forth affair throughout that included nine ties and 14 lead changes.
Reining SAC Player of the Year Alexy Mollenhauer tallied 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting including three deep balls and hauled down eight rebounds. Sophomore Taylor Hair posted 16 points and nine boards. McKenzie Gadson put up 13 points and three assists as well.
Anderson has now won three straight games against the Lady Eagles, tying its longest winning streak in the series set in 2014. Overall, the team has won 26 straight conference games, the second-longest conference winning streak in the nation. The last time Anderson lost to a SAC team was in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, a 70-62 home loss to Carson-Newman.
C-N next hosts SAC rival Coker on Dec.14 at 2 p.m at Holt Fieldhouse. The game will air on cneagles.com/live and on the flagship station, 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville).
"It will be a long week with finals and trying to practice through finals," Mincey said. "But, obviously when we come back next Saturday, get back home again which we haven't been a whole lot this year, our backs are kind of against the wall here. We don't have any choice at this point, we need to do what we can to prepare and try to get a win on our home floor."
Be sure to keep up with the Lady Eagles all season long on all of C-N's social media platforms and on cneagles.com.