JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – With 7:44 remaining in the second quarter senior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.) became the 17th Lady Eagle to notch at least 1,000 point in her career draining a three-pointer from the right wing as 21st-ranked Carson-Newman scored its most points this season and tallied its largest margin of victory of the year in an 86-65 win over North Georgia Thursday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
"I'm very pleased with how we played," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "We came out in the first quarter. They are undefeated and we know what that is like playing to stay perfect. They came out and got that first quarter 27-14 and got back to shooting the ball well. If we shoot the ball well we have a good chance of beating just about anybody."
Carson-Newman (5-1) led by as many as 20 points in the opening half while never trailing and seeing 11 different players score. The Lady Eagles scored the first 10 points of the game as North Georgia (6-1) went 0-for-7 from the floor to begin the contest. The Nighthawks cut the deficit to five points at 17-12 with 2:54 to play in the first quarter when Carson-Newman reeled off 10 unanswered points. Jordan Livesay made two free throws at the end of the initial stanza to make it 27-14 after 10 minutes.
The Lady Eagles went 7-for-17 from the floor in the second quarter but took a 44-28 lead into the locker room. Livesay led all scorers in the half with 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Carson-Newman assisted on 11 of 16 made field goals in the half.
North Georgia cut the deficit to 54-42 with 5:25 to play in the third quarter when Carson-Newman reeled off seven straight points in 1:13 of action to get the lead back to 17 points. The Lady Eagles led 71-50 heading into the fourth quarter after shooting 50 percent in the third frame.
The Lady Eagles scored eight fast break points in the fourth quarter as both teams posted 15 points and each team emptied their benches.
North Georgia turned the ball over a season-high 17 times in the game after entering the game 11th in the nation in turnovers per game as Carson-Newman turned that into 21 points off of giveaways.
13 different players scored for Carson-Newman on the night. It is the first time since January 15, 2014 that 13 players scored at least two points as the Lady Eagles beat Brevard 105-82 two seasons ago.
Junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) led Carson-Newman with 15 points while dishing out a game-high six assists with three rebounds and three steals. Burstrom finished with 11 points and four assists.
"It means a lot," Burstrom said of reaching the 1,000-point plateau. "I've worked hard over the past few years. You can't really get 1,000 points without your teammates finding you open shots, screening for you all the time. I always try to make it a point to say 'good screen' or 'good pass' because without them I'm not scoring the ball."
Redshirt-freshman guard Kayla Newman (Alcoa, Tenn.) had nine points and a career-high seven rebounds.
"Today we were pressuring up on them," Newman said, "We knew we had to stop them out front so they can't drive in. They only had one big girl so we had to watch out for her."
Senior guard Jai Jai McLaughlin (Knoxville, Tenn.) played her first game since January when she suffered an ACL injury seeing 15 minutes of action and making all three field goal attempts to finish with eight points and three rebounds.
Livesay notched 18 points in the game while Cierra Jackson posted her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
"We set our schedule up to play the best teams in the Peach Belt," Mincey said. "North Georgia is a good squad. Obviously by their record you can tell that. They just didn't shoot the ball well like we didn't at LMU the other night. To beat four of the top-five preseason ranked teams in the Peach Belt I think it's going to help us with our NCAA Tournament resume. I think we have done nothing but help ourselves that if we don't win our team we can at least get an at-large bid."
The Lady Eagles play their first South Atlantic Conference home game of the season Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against the reigning SAC Tournament Champions, Newberry. Broadcast coverage begins at 1:45 p.m. with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station 106.3 WPFT-FM and at cneagles.com/live.
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