JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman (3-4) will look to adorn a bow on a six-game home stand with back-to-back wins when it squares off with Warren Wilson (0-6) for the first time in program history, tonight in Holt Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.
Carson-Newman comes into the final nonconference contest of the year off a 92-78 league win over Wingate.
“I’ve really liked, especially the last two games, are positive strides and growth,” Carson-Newman head men’s basketball coach Chuck Benson said. “We’ve cleared up some things with our rotation, and some guys have taken command on both ends of the court in different roles. I like where we’re going as we finish up the non-conference portion of the schedule.”
This is Carson-Newman’s first ever game with Warren Wilson. However, the Owls are no strangers to SAC foes, however. The Owls have lost games to Newberry and Mars Hill this year, 98-65 and 89-71, respectively. The Owls have squared off with the Wolves and Lions each of the last six seasons. They are still searching for their first win against an NCAA Division II institution in that span.
The Eagles offense has been night and day between its victories and its defeats. In wins, Carson-Newman is averaging 108 points per game on 53 percent shooting and 47 percent shooting from three. In its loss, that figure plummets to 85.3 points. C-N is still somewhat efficient shooting, firing away at a 44.8 percent clip from the field, albeit a 33.0 percent mark from three. Perhaps the most damaging mark is a 70 percent free throw shooting clip in wins, but a 58.3 percent mark in defeat.
Wingate limited Carson-Newman to 38 rebounds in C-N’s last game. It’s the first time this year C-N hasn’t grabbed 40 boards in a game.
Carson-Newman’s 45.43 rebounds per game leads the SAC and is fifth in NCAA Division II. The Eagles are +7.3 on the glass this season, which ranks 43rd nationally.
Jerry Daye has been a formidable scoring threat for Warren Wilson. The 6-5 guard/forward posted 28 points in a loss to Mars Hill before replicating the feat against Greensboro. He was efficient in his scoring bursts, shooting 10-for-20 from the field against the Lions, and 9-for16 against Greensboro.
“He’s a big guard,” Benson said. “He can shoot it, drive it and he’s very aggressive. That’s what sticks out more than anything else. He’s got big time confidence looking for shots knowing that’s what his team needs him to do.”
Newberry leapt out to a 59-22 halftime lead on the Owls in their game on Nov. 23. The Wolves went 19-for-30 from the field in that opening half, and 10-for-15 from three-point range. Newberry had a 49-24 advantage on the glass in the contest. •
Warren Wilson’s last three opponents have outrebounded the Owls by an average of 20.33 rebounds per game. Newberry, Mars Hill and Greensboro also owned a +24 edge in second chance points.
WWC is known for its curriculum that combines academics, work, and service. This system requires every student to complete a requisite course of study, work an on-campus job, and perform community service. Warren Wilson is one of nine colleges in the United States that requires students to work for the institution in order to graduate.
Tipoff between the Owls and Eagles is set for 7 p.m. tonight.