JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Despite a Newberry lead throughout the first 20 minutes it was Carson-Newman that came out on top 109-87 after hot shooting in the second half.
Senior Xavier Hill posted a season-high 15 points including going 3-for-7 from beyond the arc. Twelve of his 15 points were logged during the first half, a team-high going into halftime.
A string of five consecutive treys from the Wolves propelled them to a 15-9 lead in the beginning minutes of the contest. Jabrie Bullard tallied another three to increase the lead to nine points, 20-11, marking Newberry’s largest lead of the game. Both teams matched each other shot for shot with the Wolves holding the slight edge but Carson-Newman chipped away with a 21-14 run to trail by two with 6:25 left in the first. Bullard continued to convert from deep with his third trey of the half boosting Newberry to a 49-45 lead late in the half. The Eagles would conclude with a 6-0 run to tie it 53-53 heading into halftime.
Bullard went 3-for-3 from deep to account for a fourth of the Wolves’ 12 treys in the first half.
The Eagles came out fighting to start the second half on a 20-6 streak with 10 of those points coming from Charles Clark to make 71-56 at the 15:28 mark. A three-pointer from Carson-Newman’s Malik Abraham extended the Eagles’ lead to 22 points, 88-66. A trey from Rob Valentine punctuated a 7-0 run from the Wolves to make it 99-85 with 4:45 remaining, but Newberry was unable to capitalize and fell to the Eagles 109-87.
Valentine contributed 15 in the second half to finish the night with 18 points, six rebounds and a block. Marshall Lange matched Valentine’s 18 points and tied Quaman Burton for a team-high four assists.
Carson-Newman shot 61.1% from the floor in the second half connecting on 22 of their 36 attempts. Six Eagles’ players ended the night in double figures with Abraham tallying a team-high 21 points.
The Eagles broke a school record with 34 assists on the night led by eight from Clark.