MARS HILL, N.C. — Carson-Newman (11-2, 4-1 South Atlantic Conference) got a career high 28 points from Cody Henegar (South Pittsburg, Tenn.), while Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) matched a career high with eight assists in a 93-70 road victory over Mars Hill (3-10, 0-5 SAC) Wednesday night at Stanford Arena.
The win is C-N’s third straight, while the loss is the fourth in a row for Mars Hill.
Henegar doubled his previous career high, set in Carson-Newman’s last game when he scored 14 in the win over Newberry.
“Cody’s getting into the groove and routine of playing basketball again,” Carson-Newman coach Chuck Benson said, “He’s getting confident and excited. I’m not surprised with his performance tonight. I’ve been believing all along, but now I think he’s starting to believe too.”
Henegar’s 28-point outing makes him the fourth C-N player to score at least 25 points in a game this season. Johnson’s eight assists are a season high for an Eagle player.
Carson-Newman took a 24-point second half lead with 11:19 to play following a Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) layup. That bucket capped off a 10-0 run for Mars Hill. The Lions would not go quietly into the night, utilizing an 8-0 run to work the lead back down to 13 following a Kacey Holt three from the head of the key.
“It was one of those deal where sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you have those kind of leads,” Benson said. “It’s important that we don’t relax and take things for granted. I’m not sure we did that tonight. This performance was good here tonight, but this performance does not win Saturday (at Anderson).”
Following a timeout, the Eagles scored nine in a row all from beyond the arc to push the lead back past 20 points.
Carson-Newman finished with four players in double figures, led by Henegar’s 28 on 13-for-18 shooting – also a C-N season high for made field goals. Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) popped the Lions for 18, including 3-for-5 from deep. Johnson and Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) each finished with 11.
Rogers came a point away from the first double digit game in his career with nine, but he still topped his previous career high of six, set in the last game against Newberry.
Carson-Newman continually pressured Mars Hill’s freshman guards, forcing 24 turnovers and converting them into 32 points to Mars Hill’s 16 points off turnovers.
“We tried to extend out and put pressure on their young guards,” Benson said. “Regardless, those turnovers allowed us to get some opportunities to score some points ourselves.”
Carson-Newman shot 57.6 percent – 38-for-66 – for the game, including a red hot 66.7 percent from the second half. The shooting percentage for the game was the second highest for C-N this season.
The Eagles held Mars Hill’s lead scorer Khouraichi Thiam to two points and 13 rebounds. The Lions lone senior was averaging a double-double coming into the game.
Holt led all Mars Hill scorers with 18 including a 4-of-10 effort from threepoint land.
Carson-Newman stays on the road Saturday at Anderson. The Trojans are unbeaten in league play. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m. while coverage on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network begins at 3:45 p.m. on ESPN Radio 106.3 the Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com.