JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (12-7, 9-4 South Atlantic Conference) takes on its second consecutive ranked opponent and its third inside the top 10 this season when it heads to Charlotte to take on No. 5 Queens (18-1, 12-1 South Atlantic Conference) Saturday at 4 p.m. from Curry Arena.
Queens took the first meeting this season 112-90 inside Holt Fieldhouse, becoming the first team to score more than 110 points on Carson-Newman in nine years. The Royals have won three-in-a-row in the series, the only time that either side has won consecutive games against one another.
Carson-Newman is trying to rebound from its eighth worst loss in school history. The Eagles fell by 32 at No. 13 Lincoln Memorial Wednesday night.
"All we can do is focus on the present and live in the moment," head coach Chuck Benson said. "I think our guys are rather resilient. As coaches, I'd like to think we're capable of dealing with adversity and prosperity. We've had good days of practice leading into this. We just have to dominate the moment and let the chips fall where they may."
The Royals check in at fifth in the D2SIDA Media Poll and eighth in the NABC Coaches Poll. C-N is 5-4 all-time under Chuck Benson against teams in the top 10. Four of those wins came against Lincoln Memorial, the other was against Anderson.
Queens features a high octane, high pressure-style game. The Royals are top 20 nationally in steals per game (10th - 9.6), free throw attempts (14th, 500), field goal defense (16th, 40.1), and field goal percentage offense (18th, 50.3). - In a bizarre turn from the normal, Queens has actually performed better on the road than it has at home this season. The Royals average five more points per game away from the Levine Center and shoot 51 percent v. 49 percent from the field, away v. home.
Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) continues to be the nation's active career leader in field goal percentage, but Queens' Daniel Camps isn't too far behind. Camps ranks seventh among all active Division II players with a .608 percentage. Williams clocks in at .616.
"Camps isn't tall like a Chris Perry from LMU," Benson said. "He reminds you more of a Carson Brooks (C-N alum, 2016). He's very physical and a bull in the paint. He'll make it tough on you. I like our front line though. Sawyer is a proven winner and champion. Then Josh Murray and Parker Role' are physical specimens. Our guys are hungry for this opportunity."
The Royals Jared Hendryx is eighth among active Division II players with 168 career blocks. - Queens is on a three-game win streak over the Eagles. C-N hasn't downed Queens since a 25-point win at the Levine center 87-62 during the 2014-15 season. The Royals' three-game streak over the Eagles is the longest win streak for either team in the brief 10-game history of the series.
"When you're the number one team in the conference," Benson said. "You're somebody's Super Bowl. They've kept winning in the face of that. I have great respect for Bart Lundy and the team he's assembled. They've shown that they can win a lot more than they lose. Hopefully our guys will flourish against them."
Tipoff from Charlotte is set for 4 p.m. Coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at 3:45 with the AEC Countdown to Tipoff on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.