Lady Eagles Beat Bears 80-77

Lady Eagles Beat Bears 80-77

HICKORY, N.C. – The Carson-Newman Lady Eagles (7-3, 5-0 South Atlantic Conference) women's basketball team defeated the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears (5-3, 2-3 South Atlantic Conference) by a score of 80-77 at Shuford Gymnasium on Saturday evening.

Sophomore Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.) scored a career-high 27 points as the Lady Eagles remain the lone unbeaten team in SAC play, and are 5-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

"This is a hard place to play, Lenoir-Rhyne has a fine basketball team, and they've had our number before," said Carson-Newman head coach Mike Mincey. "So we feel very fortunate, I'm proud of our kids, and for us to come out of here with a three-point win, we're ecstatic with a 'W'."

Burstrom's top scoring performance in her career included going 9-for-16 from the field, along with a 5-for-10 mark from beyond the arc.

"Tatum is capable of being this type of player," Mincey said. "She's still young, only a sophomore, she's inconsistent at times, but in a game like tonight when she starts feeling it, I'd like to keep seeing her do this a lot." 

Joining Burstrom in double-digit scoring was freshman Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.) with her 12 points, and once again senior Chante' Markus (Hummelstown, Pa.), who has now scored in double-digits the past five games as she added 11 points including a crucial layup that gave Carson-Newman the lead for good late in the contest.

The Bears started the game strong with a 10-3 run in the game's first four minutes.

Carson-Newman climbed back with a 12-2 run featuring several 3-pointers, including one by Taylor Peterson (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) that gave the Lady Eagles a 27-24 lead over the Bears with 8:30 left in the first half.

The rest of the half was back-and-forth, and at halftime the Lady Eagles led 46-45, thanks in large part to 20 first half points from Burstrom.

Carson-Newman would grow and maintain the lead in the second half. The Bears fought back, and eventually tied the contest at 73 with 2:36 remaining on a 3-pointer by Danielle Bongiorno. Markus got the lead back for C-N on a layup before the Bears once again tied the contest at 75 on a pair of made free throws by Krystal Patton with 1:51 remaining.

Markus gave Carson-Newman the lead for good with 1:26 to play on a layup that gave C-N a 77-75 lead. After Cupples hit a pair of free throws to grow the lead to 79-75, the Bears came back with a Jordan Hiatt layup that cut the lead to 79-77 with seven seconds remaining. The Bears quickly fouled Jai Jai McLaughlin, and going 1-for-2 at the line was enough to secure the 80-77 victory.

The victory snaps a six-game losing streak for the Lady Eagles to Lenoir-Rhyne, and is also Carson-Newman's first win at Lenoir-Rhyne since the 2010-11 season.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led in scoring by the 17 points of Morgan Cooper. She was joined in double-figures by Katt, Patton, and Jazmine Charles who all added 10 points to the Lenoir-Rhyne cause.

Carson-Newman finishes the pre-Christmas schedule by hosting Kentucky Wesleyan at Holt Fieldhouse on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The game will be played as part of a women's/men's doubleheader, with the men hosting the Limestone Saints at 7 p.m. The Lady Eagles will not play again until after the holidays, traveling to Wingate on Jan 4.

Wednesday's game will be carried on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station WPFT-FM 106.3 FM, with coverage beginning at 4:45 p.m. with "The Countdown to Tipoff," and live video is also available on

Lady Eagles Travel to Newberry
February 28, 2014 Lady Eagles Travel to Newberry
Lady Eagles Travel to Brevard
February 11, 2014 Lady Eagles Travel to Brevard
Lady Eagles Beat Bears 80-77
December 14, 2013 Lady Eagles Beat Bears 80-77
Lady Eagles Travel to Hickory
December 13, 2013 Lady Eagles Travel to Hickory
Lady Eagles Host Lee Tuesday
December 2, 2013 Lady Eagles Host Lee Tuesday
Lady Eagles Travel to Bristol
November 15, 2013 Lady Eagles Travel to Bristol