Lenoir-Rhyne hands Lady Eagles first conference loss
HICKORY, N.C. — The Carson-Newman Lady Eagles basketball team (6-2, 1-1 SAC) saw their six-game winning streak come to an end, losing 72-59 to the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears (5-2, 1-0 SAC) at Shuford Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Tatum Burstrom led Carson-Newman in scoring with her 16 points and four threepointers, while Lashawnda Peacher provided a spark off the bench with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought we fought hard today,” said Carson-Newman head coach Mike Mincey. “The first half was kind of frustrating, it was hard to score and some things didn’t go our way. We came out in the second half and I thought crashed the boards offensively a lot better, thought we did a lot better job on the defensive end and we ended up getting more second chance points than them.”
Burstrom found her shot quickly for Carson-Newman with two three-pointers to begin the game and give Carson-Newman a 6-4 lead with 16:48 to play in the first half. The first period would be back and forth with six lead changes and four ties, yet Lenoir-Rhyne wouldn’t trail again after the 8:53 mark.
The Lady Bears shot 41.4 percent in the first half while holding the Lady Eagles to 29 percent from the floor, and Lenoir-Rhyne enjoyed a 36-27 lead at the break.
Lenoir-Rhyne started the second half on an 8-3 run to stretch the lead to 44-30 with 16:59 left in the contest. The Lady Eagles trailed 59-50 with 6:15 left in the game before a layups by Peacher and Burstrom cut the Bears’ lead to four points with 4:16 left in the game.
However the Bears responded, going on an 11-0 run to put the score at 70-55 with 1:12 left in the game. In the 11-0 run, Lenor-Rhyne got a pair of jumpers from Alexis Katt before Jazmine Charles and Danielle Bongiorno connected on three-pointers to put the game out of reach.
“We were down four and had an opportunity to cut it to two then unfortunately we didn’t make a play and they did make the plays to get the margin back up,” said Mincey.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led in scoring by Katt’s 13 points, and she was joined in double-figures by Kierra Phillips with her 12 points.
Carson-Newman will next play after a break for the Christmas holiday on Sunday, Dec. 30 against Virginia Intermont at Holt Fieldhouse at 6 p.m.