JEFFERSON CITY —After trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, Carson-Newman (18-4, 11-3 South Atlantic Conference) rallied to tie the game with 13 seconds in regulation before winning at Newberry (10-12, 6-8 SAC) in overtime 89-83. The win is C-N’s seventh consecutive – the longest winning streak in the southeast region.
With 27 points, Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) enters the top 10 on Carson-Newman’s all-time scoring list. He needed 21 coming into the game to match Todd Lucas’ (2000-2004) 1,260 points. Sanders now sits by himself in 10th place with 1,266 for his career.
Leon Williams (1983-1986) and Dustin Edwards (1999-2003) are tied for ninth with 1,311 points.
But it wasn’t just Sanders shouldering the load for the Eagles in the win, Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) popped the Wolves for 31 – the second time he’s crested 30 points this season – on 10-for-18 shooting and a career best 8-for-11 free throws.
“The numbers say it all, they scored 58 of our 89 points,” Carson-Newman head coach Chuck Benson said. “They’re outstanding players and representatives of our team. Without those guys today, we don’t win. What you don’t know is that Antoine is sick as a dog.”
Davis is the first player to have multiple 30-point games in a season for C-N since Braun Dabbs went for 36 against Mars Hill and 34 against Aiken in the 2004-05 season.
Carson-Newman struggled early turning the ball over 18 times in the game’s first 30 minutes. However, the Eagles would turn it over just three more times over the final 15 minutes of the game. Carson-Newman didn’t turn it over in the overtime period.
“This took us getting refocused,” Benson said. “This has been a fun season, but this one might be my favorite one. Newberry plays in such a way that it really rattles you. The way we were so flat, I told the guys in the huddle that the game was over because we weren’t doing things the right way. The moment I said that, everything changed.”
Carson-Newman used a 19-8 run from the 13-minute mark to the six-minute mark to erase Newberry’s 12-point lead. The teams battled back and forth over the final six minutes of regulation, but C-N was only able to capture the lead once down the stretch – off a Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) tip in with three minutes to play.