LYNCHBURG, VA (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – Carson-Newman scorched the nylon in the first half making 57 percent from the floor only to see Liberty convert nine three-points in the second half Sunday’s exhibition game at Liberty Arena in an 85-60 loss to the Flames.
“We made shots,” Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. “What we talked about halftime was that we were shooting the ball great from the three and from the field. I think 36 of their 42 points were turnovers plus second-chance points. That’s hard to combat when you are giving those kinds of opportunities. In the second half, our legs finally gave in. They are a physical team. Back-to-back days for us, I think eventually it wore us out.”
Braelyn Wykle (Greeneville, Tenn.) led the Lady Eagles with 14 points making eight of nine free-throw attempts. Lindsey Taylor (Maryville, Tenn.) chipped in a dozen and Harli Smith (Jamestown, Tenn.) added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Carson-Newman won the battle of the board with a 36-31 advantage over a historically strong rebounding unit that had been in the top 20 nationally in rebound margin almost every year for the last two decades.
After missing its first two shots of the game, the Lady Eagles drilled eight straight and nine of their final 10 attempts in a first period that featured five ties and eight lead changes. Smith buried a three from the left point in the final half minute to tie the margin at 20 after a frame.
Liberty seized control of the game in the second stanza using an 8-0 scoring run to go on top 34-25 on a jumper from Ashtyn Baker midway through the period. All told, it was a 14-4 run to get the lead out to 11 before Abby Wilson connected from long range with 1:23 to go before the break and make it a 42-34 affair at the break.
Turnovers were the biggest factor in the first half as the Flames scored 23 points off of 18 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. C-N shot 57 percent from the field and were plus-seven on the glass.
Carson-Newman trimmed the margin to six points with 7:26 to go in the third before the Flames caught fire. Liberty splashed five three-pointers using a 21-6 scoring run to go on top 64-43 with 90 seconds to go in the third. The home crew made their final six shots of the period to take a 70-49 lead into the fourth.
Neither side found a rhythm in the fourth with the home group going the final 3:34 without a point and the Lady Eagles missing six of their final seven.
C-N turned the ball over 27 times leading to 33 points for the Division I club. Liberty held an 18-0 advantage in second-chance points on the day behind 10 offensive rebounds.
Baker led all scorers with 19 points adding five assists and three rebounds. Emily Lytle finished the day with 16 points and Bridgette Rettstatt scored 14 points with six rebounds.
The Flames made half of their shots after halftime and nine of the club’s 14 triples in that span. They entered the game with 33 triples and a team shooting percentage from beyond the arc of 28 percent through five games.
The Lady Eagles close out the semester with a journey to North Georgia to take on the 16th-ranked Nighthawks at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Fans can listen to the broadcast HERE starting at 3:15 p.m. with “The AEC Countdown to Tip-Off.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/14/2020-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARSON-NEWMAN MEDIA RELATIONS)