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.
"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."