JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – On the strength of a 61 percent shooting night, Carson-Newman defeated Anderson, 112-81, in South Atlantic Conference basketball action, Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
Anderson slipped to 7-14 overall and 5-8 in conference play with its second consecutive loss, while Carson-Newman improved to 18-4 overall and 10-4 in the league with its third win in four outings.
Junior forward Jeremy Bouton led all scorers with 20 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Christian Jeffords added a season-high 17 points behind a season-best five 3-pointers, with junior guard Randall Shaw netting 14 points. Senior guard Maurice Howard equaled his season-high with nine assists and recorded six rebounds, while junior guard Gage Ellis scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Carson-Newman scored the first five points of the contest, but after falling behind, 7-2, inside the opening minute of play, Bouton connected on the first of his two 3-pointers in a 71-second span that pulled the Black and Gold within two.
Following a traditional three-point play by the Eagle's Shaun Jones, senior Rakish Taylor sparked an 8-3 burst by the Trojans that culminated with Shaw knocking down a trey that gave AU their first lead, 13-12, with more than 16 minutes on the clock.
Following eight more lead changes, Ellis snapped a 25-25 deadlock with his lone trey of the first half and added a layup less than a minute later to give the Trojans their largest advantage of the game, at 30-25, with 7:08 on the clock.
For most of the opening half, the Trojans offset Carson-Newman's red-hot 53 percent shooting (16-30) from the field with outside accuracy of their own and connected on five 3-pointers while the homestanding Eagles missed their first six 3-point attempts and were just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes.
But the Trojans misfired on their last nine field goal attempts over the final 7:08 of the half, enabling Carson-Newman to build a double-digit, 42-32, lead with 2:18 remaining. However, AU was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line inside the final four minutes to stay within reach of the Eagles and the teams went to the break with C-N holding a 44-36 lead.
The first half featured 10 lead changes and the largest lead by either squad was the halftime margin.
Carson-Newman opened the second stanza with a 12-2 run en route to building an 18-point cushion inside the first three minutes and the Trojans were unable to get closer than 16 the rest of the way.
• The score was tied six times and there were 10 lead changes – all in the first half.
• Carson-Newman won the rebounding battle, 41-36.
• The Trojans handed out a season-high 20 assists, marking the most since dishing out 24 in last season's 104-93 home win over Newberry.
• Maurice Howard has averaged 7.5 assists per game over the last four contests.
• AU has connected on at least six 3-pointers in each of the last four games.
• Carson-Newman's 60.6 percent field goal accuracy was a season-high for an opponent and the highest since the Eagles shot 69.6 percent against AU last season at Holt Fieldhouse.
The Trojans open a two-game SAC homestand, beginning with Catawba on Saturday afternoon. AU will be looking earn a sweep of the regular-season series after knocking off the Indians, 76-67, on Dec. 16 in Salisbury, N.C. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at the Abney Athletic Center.