Red hot Railsplitters renew rivalry with Eagles in Holt

Red hot Railsplitters renew rivalry with Eagles in Holt

C-N Game Notes 

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Carson-Newman (2-3, 0-0 South Atlantic Conference) matches wits with rival No. 10/12 Lincoln Memorial (6-1, 1-0 SAC) for the 210th time when the teams collide Tuesday evening in Holt Fieldhouse at 7:30. 

The Eagles will be looking for back-to-back wins in the series for the first time since sweeping the season series with LMU in 2011-12.  Carson-Newman prevailed 79-75 in Holt Fieldhouse last year over LMU to pump the breaks on a five-game losing streak to the team from Harrogate.  

Lincoln Memorial is still very much Lincoln Memorial. The Railsplitters have outscored their opposition by an average of 29.6 points per game this year.  That figure is fifth nationally.  They've done it with an offense that is 11th nationally with 94.9 points per game.  However, it's LMU's defense that is next level given the pace of play.  LMU is seventh in the country with 65 steals, and its limited foes to 35.4 percent shooting, a figure that is also fifth nationally.  

"They're a little bit different from what they've been in years past," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "It's not that they don't have size, but they play their own brand of small ball.  They can attack well from beyond the arc.  Defensively, they are as stingy as ever.  They don't have the rim protection from years past like an Emmanuel Terry, but they do such a good job containing the ball and scouting opponent's that they give their team a great chance to win, and opponent's a difficult road. We're excited for the opportunity." 210

Carson-Newman is looking to snap a 13-game losing streak to ranked opposition.  LMU registers as C-N's last ranked win.  The Eagles downed the Railsplitters, then ranked sixth in the country 111-109 on Nov. 12, 2016.  Carson-Newman has four wins all-time against top-10 teams with Chuck Benson as head coach.

Carson-Newman has historically defended Holt Fieldhouse well against LMU.  The Eagles have taken two of the last three from LMU played inside Holt.  C-N holds a 61-40 all-time edge at Mossy Creek against the Railsplitters. 

As per usual, the Railsplitters are splendid from long range.  LMU has knocked down double-digit threes in three consecutive games, and hit for 10 or more in four games this year.  The Railsplitters 77 threes made are seventh in the nation.  
Trevecca Nazarene transfer Devin Whitfield is the reigning SAC Player of the Week.  He averaged 28 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the week, while shooting 53.1 percent from the field. He was perfect from the free-throw line (13-for-13). Whitfield started the week with 25 points, four rebounds and five steals versus Johnson. He closed out the week with 31 points and seven rebounds in a victory at Wingate. 

"He's gotten acclimated quickly," Benson said. "He's a big long athlete who has a versatile skill sets.  He adds value to their team and has that skill set that Josh Schertz really likes.  He's an elite player." 

The Eagles offense has been night and day between its victories and its defeats.  In wins, Carson-Newman is averaging 108 points per game on 53 percent shooting and 47 percent shooting from three.  In its loss, that figure plummets to 84.3 points.  C-N is still somewhat efficient shooting, firing away at a 46.7 percent clip from the field, albeit a 35.3 percent mark from three.  Perhaps the most damaging mark is a 70 percent free throw shooting clip in wins, but a 56.6 percent mark in defeat.
Carson-Newman has been getting on the glass.  The Eagles lead the SAC and is fifth nationally with 47 rebounds per game.  C-N ranks 13th nationally in defensive rebounding and ninth in offensive rebounding. 
Tipoff between the Eagles and LMU is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network on The Mountain 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at