Turnovers doom Eagles to 86-84 loss to Newberry

VIDEO: Chuck Benson Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (3-4, 0-2 South Atlantic Conference) coughed up 28 turnovers, including three in the final 45 seconds, as Newberry (6-2, 1-1 SAC) rattled off a 6-0 run to close the game and collect am 86-84 win over the Eagles Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.

The Wolves' win snaps a seven-game losing streak to the Eagles.

"Credit goes to Newberry, their style is such that they created extreme pressure," head coach Chuck Benson said. "Historically we've had high turnovers against them.  But tonight, we had some critical ones late.  To me the difference was that we had to make offense for defense substitutions in the final three minutes because Charles (Clark) and Mason (Bates) were playing with four fouls."

Carson-Newman had a four-point lead, 84-80 with 52 seconds left following a Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) drive and layup. 

However, Newberry guard Gerald Evans drove straight to the top of the key and connected on a stop-and-pop triple six seconds later to bring Newberry within one. 

After Newberry deflected the Eagles' ensuing possession out of bounds under C-N's basket, Mason Bates (Cookeville, Tenn.) launched the in-bounds pass into the back court for Clark to corral.  Bates launched it a bit far and Clark wound up scrapping for the ball with Evans. Evans won the loose ball as Clark tipped it out of bounds all the way under Newberry's basket. 

"We're up two with the ball underneath our basket up two," Benson said. "We ran a multiple screen end out play and Mason makes a decision that ultimately proved to be a turnover.  That turned out to be one of the more costly moments.  We hurt ourselves, that is what it is."

James Stepp rolled down the left side of the lane for a layup that banked off the square to put Newberry up with 16 seconds left. 

Clark muscled his way into the paint looking to put C-N back up with six seconds left, but had the ball knocked out of his hands in traffic before he could get a shot off.  Clark fouled out on the play by hacking the Wolves' James Ashby

However, Ashby only hit one of his two free throws to keep Carson-Newman within two. 

Again, the turnover bug haunted Carson-Newman on the in-bounds. Brooks tossed the pass to Evans.  He was promptly fouled by Zack Pangallo with four seconds left. 

With a chance to ice the game, Evans headed to the charity stripe.  The 5-5 junior couldn't connect on either free throw.  Josh Rogers (Bristol, United Kingdom) grabbed the rebound on the second and threw an outlet pass to Pangallo on the left sideline.  Pangallo raced to half court and let a desperation heave fly.  The ball bounced off the front iron, skipped off the backboard and fell wide of the rim to end the game.

The loss overshadowed the Eagles' shooting performance.  Carson-Newman went 32-for-56 from the field (57.1 percent) and 7-for-18 from beyond the arc (38.9 percent).  The Wolves were 16-for-37 from beyond the arc (43.2 percent) and 30-73 (41.1 percent) from the field. 

The Wolves turned Carson-Newman's 28 turnovers into 28 points.  Newberry collected 15 steals, the first time a team has had that many against C-N since Coker pilfered 15 against the Eagles on Nov. 22, 2014. 

Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) led C-N with 18 points.  Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Rogers both had double-doubles. Brooks had 13 points and 13 rebounds.  Rogers had 14 points and 10 boards.  Brooks' 13 rebounds are a career high. 

Clark added 16 points for the Eagles and Pangallo had 12. 

The Eagles jump out of conference play Wednesday when they play host to Limestone at 7 p.m.  Coverage for the contest with be available on the Eagle Sports Network on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.