JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Limestone (6-1) buried 13-of-18 three pointers and used a 29-6 first half run to take a nonconference contest 82-73 from Carson-Newman (6-3) Wednesday evening in Holt Fieldhouse.
Ayshia McNeil poured in a career high 25 points for the Saints, the second most points the Lady Eagles have allowed to an individual player this year.
"We had a long conversation in our locker room why we come out as flat and lethargic as we do," C-N head women's hoops coach Mike Mincey said. "We were scared of their penetration, but then they come out and shoot the three like they did. They just absolutely devastated us on the defensive end."
The Saints drained six straight three-point attempts as a part of their 29-6 first half run. Meanwhile, the teams combined for 21 turnovers in the game's first 12 minutes.
"I wasn't pleased with how we handled their run," Mincey said. "I don't understand why we've been so lethargic to start games then pick it up later."
Carson-Newman did recover, the Lady Eagles closed the game on a 19-4 run; however, that met the cliché of being too little and too late. The final margin of nine marked the first time C-N trailed by single digits since the seven-minute mark of the first half.
Offensively, the Lady Eagles sank 48 percent of their shots (27-56) and 64 percent of their threes (7-11). Five players finished in double figures, led by Jai Jai McLaughlin's (Knoxville, Tenn) 14 points. Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.), Lashawnda Peacher (Springfield, Tenn.), Chante Markus (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Haley Coffelt (Tracy City, Tenn.) followed suit with 13, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. It marks the fourth consecutive game Markus has broken into double figures.
"I like that we were balanced," Mincey said. "But I wished we moved the ball a bit crisper. We looked discombobulated at times in the first half. Hopefully we can work on the spacing, catching it and driving to the paint, instead of testing the ball for air by just standing and dribbling with it."
That lack of crispness, in part, led to 23 C-N turnovers, a season high. Limestone scored 23 points off those giveaways compared to Carson-Newman's 17 points off 24 Saint turnovers.
C-N hits the road for the first time in three games to take on Lenoir-Rhyne at 5 p.m. Saturday. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network begins at 4:45 p.m. with the Countdown to Tipoff on the Eagle Sports Network on 106.3 ESPN Radio the Zone and online at cneagles.com/live.