BREVARD, N.C. – Carson-Newman (13-4, 6-3 South Atlantic Conference) turned a 14-point first half deficit around behind solid second half shooting and defense to pick up a 74-69 win over Brevard (2-15, 1-7 SAC) on the road.
Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with four seconds to play in regulation to force the overtime period. An Alex Moe shot at the horn failed to beat the buzzer as the Tornados made the effort to drive the length of the court after Davis’ missed on the second foul shot.
“We were scared to death that this game was a trap game,” Carson-Newman head men’s basketball coach Chuck Benson said. “Lee Burgess has done an outstanding job keeping them together in the face of adversity.
“All I know is that were able to pull out a win on the road in a conference game against a team that will sneak up and beat somebody before the rest of the season’s over.”
Carson-Newman held Brevard to 2-of-10 shooting in the OT period, outscoring the Tornados 9-4 to seal the victory with free throws. The fivepoint win marks the first time this season that the Eagles have come out with a W in a game that has been decided by five points or less.
Benson said the late push can be credited to a defensive switch.
“We changed our defensive up a bit and went to a matchup zone to get better coverage on the perimeter,” Benson said. “We started that late into the second half and that effort carried over to the overtime period.”
The Eagles received a herculean effort from Davis. The 6-5 junior played much of the second half with a cut cheek and a rolled ankle. However, Davis still managed to drop a game high 25 on Brevard, including four threes.
Davis has topped 20 points each of the four times C-N has played Brevard in his career.
Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) topped is previous career high for points, picking up 18 and eight rebounds. Brooks finished 7-for-11 from the field. The freshman completed his stat-sheet stuffing by blocking two shots and pilfering three steals.
“We don’t win tonight without Carson Brooks,” Brooks said. “His work on the boards in and his effort inspired our other guys.”
After trailing by 13 with 2:16 to go in the first half, the Eagles used a 15-3 run spanning the half to work the lead back down to a single possession with 17 minutes left in the second half.
The teams would exchange runs over the next nine minutes. During the final seven minutes of regulation, neither squad would lead by more than four.