TOP PHOTO: Former CCHS Lady Cougar Skylar Boshears hit a go ahead bucket late in Wednesday night’s game at LMU, but the Lady Railsplitters hit free throws down the stretch to pull off the upset.
HARROGATE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – Despite making six of its final nine shots, 10th-ranked Carson-Newman failed to score in the final 57 seconds watching Lincoln Memorial bury all six of its free throws down the stretch to end the Lady Eagles undefeated bid in an 87-82 setback at Tex Turner Arena Wednesday in South Atlantic Conference play.
“I give them a lot of credit,” Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. “This is their fifth game in three days. They don’t have much of a bench. We felt like we had a bench. We didn’t have one tonight. They put us in some really tough spots with some mismatches somewhat going small ball. I’m disappointed to see how our team performed. I will give them a lot of credit and coach Carter and his staff credit because they found mismatches and made us pay.”
Trailing by 10 points two minutes into the fourth quarter, Carson-Newman (7-1, 7-1) found a rhythm scoring 17 of the next 23 points to go on top 80-79 on a left-wing three-pointer from Addison Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) with 2:55 to go.
After two free tosses by Lauren Flowers, Skylar Boshears (La Follette) hit a runner in the lane with 57 seconds left to give C-N an 82-81 lead. It would be the last time the Lady Eagles scored. Mikayla Kuehne drew a foul on the next possession and made both shots. Boshears finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Lady Eagles had trailed for a grand total of 12:12 this season and by no more than four points. Lincoln Memorial (6-6, 5-6) was on top of 16:11 of the game. C-N had a streak of 17 straight games with a double-digit lead end tallying a game-high margin of eight twice in the first frame.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Lady Eagles with Braelyn Wykle (Greeneville, Tenn.) leading the way with 21 points making four three pointers. The sophomore added five rebounds and four assists.
Lindsey Taylor (Maryville, Tenn.) racked up another double-double, her third in the last four games, with 16 points and 14 rebounds making six of seven at the charity stripe.
Byrd chipped in 12 points adding seven rebounds and five assists. Harli Smith (Jamestown, Tenn.) added a dozen and Boshears finished the night with 11, all in the second half.
The Lady Eagles had won back-to-back games on the road in the series and had won five of the last six prior to Wednesday night.
With the game tied at 11, Wykle drilled a pair of three-pointers as part of a 10-2 scoring burst that pushed a C-N lead to 21-13. LMU scored the final five points of the period to trail by three 21-18 after 10 minutes. Jordan Maney scored 13 points for the home crew.
Mincey’s unit was able to push the margin to five but followed that with a scoring drought that last 3:32. LMU responded by rattling off 10 of 12 to go on top 35-32 with 2:53 to go before the break. It would be the final time the ‘Splitters scored with Smith making a pair of foul shots in the final seconds to give C-N a 36-35 edge at halftime.
At one point in the third the Lady Eagles made five straight shots but went cold late as LMU surged behind a 14-2 run to extend the lead to 63-54 with 61 seconds to play in the period. C-N had not trailed by more than four points all season. Late foul shots from Taylor made it a six-point game, 65-59, entering the fourth.
The Railsplitters shot 86 percent at the free-throw line making 24 of 28 at the stripe including 10 of 11 in the final period. Maney finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds adding three steals to lead the home group to a win.
Overall five players finished in double figures with Lindsay Proffitt and Kuehne racking up 17 apiece. Lauren Flowers tallied 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Lexi Kiser posted 10 points, five helpers and four boards.
The Lady Eagles continue their road swing Saturday afternoon visiting Newberry at 2 p.m. from Eleazer Arena. Air time is at 1:45 p.m. on the Eagle Sports Network by tuning in locally to The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online by going to cneagles.com/live. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/28/2021-6AM)