Eagles look for better offensive consistency at Catawba

Eagles look for better offensive consistency at Catawba

C-N Game Notes

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. –The last two times Carson-Newman (2-5, 1-2 South Atlantic Conference) has made the trek to Salisbury, N.C. to take on Catawba (3-3, 1-2 SAC) at Goodman Gym, the Eagles have struggled to score the basketball.

C-N is averaging just 61 points per game, 38 percent field goal shooting and 15 percent shooting from beyond the arc in its last two games at Catawba. 

The Eagles offensive woes are at the forefront of corrections after falling 62-58 in overtime at Clayton State Tuesday.  In that game, the Eagles held the Lakers 10 minutes without a field goal, but only sank three shots over the same time span. 

"We've got to try to limit the easy baskets that Catawba gets," head coach Chuck Benson said. "We'll have to take away high percentage shots and then do our job and capitalize on the stops we get.  We've got to do stuff on both sides of the ball to give ourselves the possibility to win."

Catawba is the only team in the South Atlantic Conference which features three players in the top 10 in the league in scoring.  Rakeem Brown leads the way with 18.2 points per game. Jerrin Morrison follows suit with 17.2. KJ Arrington is the Indians third leading scorer at 17.0 points per game.

Rob Perron is in his first year at the helm of the program after taking over for 20-year head coach Jim Baker.

"Rob's done an admirable job this far," Benson said. "He's got big shoes to fill, but he's doing a good job putting a roster together that will make them competitive for years to come."

The Indians have the second best offense in the league, averaging 82.8 points per game.  However, Catawba also gives up 80.2 points per game – the second worst figure in the conference. 

Carson-Newman has held back-to-back teams who average more than 80 points per game to at least 17 points under their respective averages. 

Carson-Newman guard Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) has strung together five straight games with at least double-digit points.  That string is a career long for him. 

Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) is coming off a career high 16-point, 13-rebound effort in the Eagles loss to Clayton State.  It was his second career double-double. 

The Eagles swept the season series with the Indians last season are trying to win three straight games against the Indians for just the second time in the team's 25-year history.

"We want to be a defensive identity type team," Benson said. "But the Carson Brooks, Jared Johnsons and Sawyer Williams have to step up, make plays and play above expectations."

Tipoff Saturday is set for 4 p.m.  Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins at 3:45 p.m. with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.