Lady Eagles spin Lady Tornados in 105-82 win
Carson-Newman’s Kaitlyn Cupples (14) goes up against a Brevard’s Katie Williams on Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse. The Lady Eagles cruised to a 105-82 victory.
JEFFERSON CITY — Holt Fieldhouse has been a welcome place for the Carson-Newman women’s basketball team and Wednesday night it watched them help make history. The Lady Eagles beat South Atlantic Conference rival Brevard 105-82, to open a night where both C-N basketball teams would pass the century mark.
Still, even with the offensive explosion Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey saw room for improvement.
“We scored 50 in the first half but I thought we left some out there with some senseless turnovers against their zone,” Mincey said. “Coming out in the second half, our energy wasn’t what I would have liked. We subbed five-for-five and that group gave us a little more energy. Then, when that starting group came back in we really caught fire. We got into our man-to-man press and it paid dividends for us.”
For Carson-Newman (9-4, 7-2 SAC) the dominating offensive performance was a boost after falling to Queens (N.C.) 71-62 Saturday. The Lady Eagles have not lost a conference game at home this season. Sophomore Taylor Peterson had a breakout game for the Lady Eagles, scoring 20 points off the bench.
“Our team worked really well together,” Peterson said. “We were passing the ball around and I was in the right place at the right time. My teammates saw me and I was able to capitalize on it.”
C-N trailed in the game for less than a minute in the opening half. Down 4-3, a three-pointer form sophomore Tatum Burstrom put the Lady Eagles up for good. It was just the beginning of Burstroms day. She finished with 17 points and four assists.
It’s only the third time this season Carson-Newman surrendered 82 or more points and Brevard guard Katie Williams did all she could to keep the Lady Tornadoes in the game, scoring 31 points.
“Sometimes with the press you’re going to give up an easy basket,” Mincey said.
“When that happened, we went right down and got those points back. We didn’t do a good job on 12 (Williams). We needed to trap her and make her give the ball up. We let her go coast-to-coast too many times and shoot layups. She really did a number on us.”
It wasn’t nearly enough. Every Lady Eagles player scored, with Chante Markus scoring 13 and Kaitlyn Cupples scoring 14. Jai Jai McLaughlin scored four points with six rebounds and five assists.
Two more Brevard ladies finished in double figures. Shelby Wolfe barely missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Madson Lenox had 13 points and six rebounds. Hadara Bannister made her mark on the scoresheet for the Lady Tornadoes in the worst way, turning the ball over 11 times.
“Defensively we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Mincey sad. “If we’re going to contend in this league, we’re going to have to pick it up.”
The Lady Eagles host SAC rival Coker (8-5, 6-3) Saturday at Holt Fieldhouse. Tip off is 2 p.m.
-By Adam Greene, Tribune Correspondent