JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (18-7, 15-6 South Atlantic Conference) wraps up its regular season Saturday at 4 p.m. with a road game at Newberry (18-7, 14-7 SAC). The Eagles are angling for a fourth consecutive win over the Wolves.
Both Carson-Newman and Newberry need victories to secure a better seed in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament, which begins Wednesday. An Eagle win coupled with an Anderson loss at Queens would give Carson-Newman the two seed in the tourney. Carson-Newman has already secured a first round home game – the Eagles own the tiebreaker with Newberry and Lenoir-Rhyne thanks to their win over Lincoln Memorial.
A Wolves' win and a Lenoir-Rhyne loss would give Newberry a first round home game.
The Wolves lead the league in scoring with 93 points per game.
"They've not changed; they do what they do," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "They'll rotate a new five every 90 seconds and they score big points. They hope that you'll run out of gas in the second half. This is their last regular season home game of the season, so they'll be fired up. They play like no other team in our league."
Carson-Newman won the first meeting between the school's 98-89 on the back of a career high 27 points from Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.).
The Wolves are coming in off a 99-85 victory on the road at Wingate. Newberry drained 20 of 47 three point shots in that contest.
The Eagles will try to get the old leather pumpkin back under control after faltering 77-60 at top-seeded LMU Wednesday.
"I've liked the way we've handled their pressure the previous three meetings," Benson said. "A lot of teams aren't flexible enough to handle the 80-90 possession game they like to play. We've got enough senior guards who have been able to adjust to that."
The game also factors prominently into the Southeast Region rankings. The Eagles are ranked sixth in the standings and the Wolves ninth. The top five teams are guaranteed spots in the NCAA tournament.
"Ish seems to enjoy playing against (Newberry's defense)," Benson said. "He's good at running and gunning. He can find shots in that up tempo style. For whatever reason he likes that up and down deal."
Tipoff between the Eagles and Wolves is set for 4 p.m. from Eleazer Arena. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network gets underway at 3:45 on 106.3 ESPN Radio The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.