NEWBERRY, S.C.—Rolling out a new starting five for the first time since November, Carson-Newman's starters went 24-for-49 from the field scoring 72 points in a 78-59 road victory at Eleazer Arena against Newberry Saturday in South Atlantic Conference play.
"After the last to Tusculum, I thought it was time," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "Even before we got back from break I told them that we might start rotating the lineup around. We feel we have seven or eight guys that can start. I felt like it was a good time to do it. We base it off of our plus-minus chart and you see that outcome.
"We put Bunch in the lineup and she plays hard. That's one of the things I like about her is just how hard she plays when she's on the floor. We have seen the ability out of Qua to be a passer and be a good defender. It made a lot of sense. I was very proud of how that five came out and played today."
The two fresh faces, Madison Bunch (Morristown, Tenn.) and Qua Hines (Gatlinburg, Tenn.), stuffed the stat sheet. Bunch tallied a season high 12 points burying four of seven from deep while collecting a career-high five rebounds.
"We found out yesterday in practice," Bunch said. "It was nice getting to start after three years. It was a good motivational thing for me. We worked together as a team. Rebounding is our biggest thing right now. We are trying to outrebound the other team and work together to get those box outs."
Braelyn Wykle (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Harli Smith (Jamestown, Tenn.) reset their career highs with 24 and 15 points respectively. Smith added eight rebounds and four assists.
Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) responded after not recording a double-double Wednesday with 15 points and 13 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season.
Carson-Newman (11-5, 7-3) wins an eighth straight meeting over the Wolves including a sixth by double figures limiting Newberry to 34 percent shooting in the game.
Kelsey Brett opened the scoring with a layup 26 seconds into the contest before Newberry failed to score over a 5:03 sequence. C-N took advantage scoring 11 unanswered points courtesy of three triples and a layup. In an opening period where both sides shot around 30 percent, the Lady Eagles led 16-10 after a period.
Despite failing to score for nearly five minutes between the first and second periods, the Wolves could only close the gap to two at 16-14 before the visitors reeled off 10 straight to take a 26-14 lead midway through the second stanza.
Mincey's unit was able to push the lead out to a half-high 14 points on a driving layup from Marosites in the final 10 seconds to go ahead 37-23 at the break.
After scoring the first four points of the second half, C-N could not maintain a lead that swelled to 18 on three different occasions. Newberry scored eight second-chance points shaving one point off of the halftime deficit to make it 52-39.
Courtney Virgo drilled a three-pointer 35 seconds into the fourth to trim the deficit to 10 before C-N fired back with a 19-8 run to stretch the lead to a game-high 21 points on a Wykle long distance jumper with 3:06 to go.
Carson-Newman went 8-for-12 from the field in the fourth quarter and 8-for-10 at the free-throw line in the final period to settle into a 19-point victory.
Going against the third-best rebounding team in the league, the Lady Eagles held a 46-28 advantage on the glass converting 13 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.
Keli Romas led the home club in scoring with 21 points going 8-for-15 from the field. Virgo was the only other player to finish in double figures with 10 points but she went 4-for-12 from the floor.
In the final home game of January, the Lady Eagles return to Mossy Creek Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. for a contest against UVa-Wise.