Fourth quarter comeback falls short as Lady Eagles drop second straight

VIDEO: Mike Mincey Recaps Clayton State

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Despite a furious late comeback attempt, the Carson-Newman women's basketball dropped their second-consecutive game, a 67-62 decision to No.15 North Georgia.

The Lady Eagles (4-2) trailed by as many as 12 with nine minutes remaining but Kayla Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) scored 15 fourth-quarter points to cut the deficit to four with 23 seconds left but C-N simply ran out of time.

"Our scoring this weekend hasn't been up to snuff, our shooting percentage hasn't been where it needs to be," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "… It was nice to get down to the end there to have a chance but obviously ultimately they were just a little bit too much for us tonight."

Marosites finished with 23 points despite going scoreless in the first half. She secured just six rebounds, a meager number compared to her lofty average of 14.

"She came out in the second half, it was a good battle between her and [Kyra Davis]" Mincey said. "They went toe-to-toe for most of the night. For her to be able to get 23 against a good player and good defender, she's worn out after this game but she kind of carried us from an offensive standpoint."

Carson-Newman led 27-23 at halftime despite their leading scorer and U.S Basketball Writers Association Women's Division II National Player of the Week coming up empty in the first half.

The tide turned in the third quarter where C-N connected on just three of 16 attempts, scoring 10 total points. Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, the Nighthawks (6-0) posted a game-high 21 points in the frame, going nine-of-11 from the field and nailing both of their three-point attempts.

Junior guard Addsion Byrd (Nashville, Tenn.) scored nine points in her second game back after missing two contests due to a right ankle sprain. 

"She's going to be fine," Mincey said. "I think she pressed a little bit, she went three-of-13 from the field. I think as she gets that ankle better, I believe she will be able to make a higher percentage of those shots."

Senior Tori Griffin (Strawberry Plains, Tenn.) also posted nine points and took down four rebounds.

UNG was led by junior guard Abby Franklin who scored 19 points on five-for-nine shooting and made three of her six attempts from beyond the arc. She also recorded eight rebounds.

Franklin was one of four Nighthawks in double-figures as junior forward Julianne Sutton poured in 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Junior Kara Groover scored 12 points while Davis added ten. 

It was the first time UNG beat C-N since December 2016, breaking a three-game Lady Eagles winning streak in the series.

The silver lining for the Carson-Newman was the rebounding battle which they won 45 to 43. Coming into the weekend, the Nighthawks had the second-best rebounding differential in the nation, securing five more boards than opponents on average.

"We're probably one of the only teams that can challenge them at the block with some size," Mincey said. "I thought we did okay with that tonight, got them in foul trouble a little bit, didn't take advantage of it in the second half. To out-rebound them is a testament to how hard our kids were working tonight trying to secure those boards."

Carson-Newman open's their conference schedule against Lincoln Memorial University on Nov.26 at Holt Fieldhouse at 5 p.m.

The game can be heard on the radio at 106.3 (WPFT-FM) and on online at The broadcast will start 15 minutes prior to opening tip. Follow @CNathletics for the latest news and notes for the weekend.