JEFFERSON CITY, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – Skylar Boshears, former Campbell Lady Cougar, and Braelyn Wykle combined for 53 points making 66 percent of their shots from the field helping guide No. 23 Carson-Newman to a 91-73 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne following a 35-day layoff Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.
“Coming back after a 35-day layoff, I was nervous about what we would look like offensively,” Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. “Would we take care of the ball? How would we shoot it with two days of 5-on-5? We are down two guys that would have helped our conditioning. Nevertheless, we shot it well. It’s great to see Boshears – that’s how she’s been practicing and to see her score in a lot of different ways and a real crafty player, I was glad to see her play well today.”
Boshears had scored 24 total in her first two career games at Mossy Creek before dropping 26 points in her first-career start. The La Follette native went 9-for-15 from the field and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line adding six rebounds over 35 minutes.
“I told myself that I wanted to be confident coming in,” Boshears said. “That’s what I did and I’m glad that we got the win. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates with them making plays. We came in here confident and we have to have that mindset every game.”
Wykle led all scorers with 27 points going 10-for-14 from the field drilling five of seven from long distance adding four assists. The Greeneville, Tenn. native has at least 20 points in every game this year and 14 of her last 21.
“Even though it seems like Braelyn has been here forever she is just a sophomore as is Skylar,” Mincey said. “With Skylar her not having an opportunity to play last year she is itching to get back on the floor and play. We have seen that kind of effort from Braelyn. We have seen that with Skylar in practice. Her length is unique and different. She is getting into the rhythm of hitting mid-range jumpers. That’s just another big time scorer for us as we continue to play games this year.”
Carson-Newman (4-0, 4-0) shot 59 percent for the game making half of its 16 three-point attempts. The Lady Eagles had 44 points in the paint and 24 points off of 14 Lenoir-Rhyne (1-6, 1-6) turnovers.
The Lady Eagles have defeated the Bears in five straight meetings and nine of the last 10 stretching their lead to 49-29 in the all-time series.
Lindsey Taylor (Maryville, Tenn.) was the only other C-N player to finish in double figures tallying 10 points in 17 minutes going 3-for-5 from the field.
Wykle drilled a pair of three-pointers over the first 90 seconds to get the Lady Eagles rolling. Both teams shot above 50 percent in the first 10 minutes of play scoring six of the final eight points to take a 21-13 edge after a period of play.
Spanning the quarter, C-N rattled off seven straight points to go ahead 26-13 one minute into the second stanza. Emily Harman connected a three-pointer to cut the margin to nine with 7:06 to play in the first half before the Lady Eagles surged.
Mincey’s crew used a 13-3 run, the last nine unanswered, to swell the bulge to 19 points at 44-25 before settling on a 48-31 advantage at the break. The Orange and Blue shot 62 percent from the field in the half getting 18 points on the fast break.
A layup from Boshears pushed the lead out to a game-high 23 points, 62-39, with 4:08 to go in the third period. Lenoir-Rhyne made a massive push closing the period on a 15-2 run scoring the final 11 points of the frame to make it a 10-point game, 64-54.
Carson-Newman scored the first four points of the fourth quarter and used a 14-5 run to get the lead back to 19 points at 78-59 midway through the period. The Lady Eagles made 71 percent of their shots in the final 10 minutes to seize the win.
In her first game of the year, Kennedy Weigt scored 23 points off of the bench on 8-for-15 shooting making five three-points to move into second place on Lenoir-Rhyne’s all-time three-point list with 178 in her career.
Emily Harman flirted with a triple-double finishing the day with 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. The freshman took 17 shots making six from the floor.
The Lady Eagles get back on the floor with their first road game of the season Monday night at 5:30 p.m. at Mars Hill. Broadcast coverage starts at 5:15 p.m. with “The AEC Countdown to Tip-Off” on the Eagle Sports Network’s flagship station 106.3 WPFT-FM, The Mountain, and streaming live on www.cneagles.com/live.