Lady Eagles return home to face Mars Hill tonight

Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

JEFFERSON CITY — The Carson-Newman Lady Eagles basketball team will face the Mars Hill Lions at Holt Fieldhouse tonight at 6 p.m.

Carson-Newman (8-4, 5-1 SAC) hasn’t lost a conference game at home this season, and the Lady Eagles are in a three-way tie for the SAC lead with Wingate and Catawba, with all three teams 5-1.

“Looking to see how our team responds after suffering our first conference loss Saturday,” said Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey. “Mars Hill has a good team and is much better than their record indicates. We’ll definitely need to play well to get back on the winning track in an attempt to stay atop the SAC standings.”

Carson-Newman fell at Wingate 73-59 on Saturday in the first SAC loss of the season. After a back-and-forth first half, the Bulldogs closed the first half on a 20-2 run over the final five minutes to pull away from Carson-Newman, and Wingate never trailed again.

Carson-Newman was led in scoring by sophomore Jai Jai McLaughlin with her 15 points, and she was the only Lady Eagle in double-digit scoring. Senior Chante’ Markus was held to seven points, the first time in six games where she hasn’t scored in double digits.

Carson-Newman won the first matchup of the year at Mars Hill on Nov. 26, 62-57, in a game that featured another road comeback win. The Lady Eagles, who trailed by a point at halftime, outscored Mars Hill 34-28 in the second half to secure its fourth straight win, as Carson-Newman was off to a 3-0 start in conference play for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Sophomore Tatum Burstrom led Carson-Newman with her 20 points, as she led Carson-Newman from behind the arc with four 3-pointers and eight field goals. Burstrom was joined in double figures by Markus and sophomore Taylor Peterson, with both players scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds for the Lady Eagles.

The Lions (2-8, 1-5 SAC) are led by Greeneville, Tenn., native Ansley Ricker, who is fifth in the league by averaging 15.9 points per game. The Lions were picked to finish 12th out of 12 teams in the preseason SAC poll. During the 2011-12 season, the Lady Eagles were swept by Mars Hill, making C-N 3-2 in the last five meetings.

Wednesday’s game will be carried on the Eagle Sports Network’s flagship station WPFT-FM 106.3 FM, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

-From Contributed Reports

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