JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Coming off of a blowout win over in-state rival Lincoln Memorial, Carson-Newman prepares to cap Thanksgiving weekend against Wingate Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. continuing South Atlantic Conference action.
"You have to make sure that you are rebounding well," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "Wingate is very athletic. It could be a very up-tempo game with the style of play that they are doing this year in terms of the press. You have to take care of the basketball as always. If we continue to shoot a high field-goal percentage in Holt Fieldhouse, you like your chances."
Mincey has tallied 106 career wins against SAC foes in his nine seasons at the helm at Mossy Creek. He enters Saturday one win away from tying Eddie Carter's program record of 107 that Carter posted over 14 years, the last 12 as a member of the league. Only five coaches in the history of the league have more. Wingate's Ann Hancock is the only active coach with more as the mentor has 109.
The sample size may be small but the Lady Eagles are not skipping a beat inside of Holt Fieldhouse where they are 41-6 over the last four years. Through two games, the team has buried 27 three-pointers shooting 40 percent compared to a 33 percent in road and neutral outings. C-N is scoring 98 points on average versus 74 everywhere else. Oddly enough, the only statistical area that differs is at the line where the Orange and Blue are shooting 68 percent at home opposed to 81.
Saturday is the 76th all-time meeting with Wingate (5-2, 1-1) holding a 43-32 advantage thanks to winning 11 of the last 13 contests. The Bulldogs are 18-16 when travelling to Jefferson City but five of the last eight victories for the Lady Eagles in the series have come inside of their own gym.
Last season's affair at Holt saw Wingate leave the arena with a 76-75 victory that featured 17 lead changes and 13 ties. Jo Snow buried a runner with two seconds left in the game after teams had traded 8-0 and 9-0 scoring bursts. C-N could never get a shot as the Bulldogs used their fouls to give to seal a win.
While 50 points from Hancock's club is no longer on the roster, four of C-N's six double-digit scorers are back in the fold for Mincey. The Lady Eagles shot 37 percent from the field, well below its season average of 44, but converted all 17 of their free-throw attempts.
Wingate has finished no worse than second in the league standings over each of the last six years but is picked to finish third in 2019-20. Coach Ann Hancock loses four starters from last year but returns an elite shot blocker and preseason second-team All-SAC pick Teliyah Jeter.
The four starters lost combined for seven All-SAC honors in their tenure led by four-time honoree Dansaia Witherspoon and 2018-19 first-team All-SAC selection Caroline Averette. On top of that crew, the league's Freshman of the Year, Jo Snow, transferred to Belmont Abbey.
Hancock's club has won five of its last six losing the season opener, 78-74 to Clayton State and last Saturday, 62-54, at home to Lincoln Memorial. Saturday's game is just the second true road game for the Bulldogs who beat Converse 57-47 in the only other road affair.
With four players in double figures, Wingate is balanced but ranks in the bottom half of the league in most offensive areas. The Bulldogs have attempted 158 foul shots but converts at the second-lowest margin in the league at 63 percent. They are also turning the ball over an average of 20 times per night doing so in four of seven outings.
Defensively, the team is yielding the lowest field-goal percentage in the SAC at 33 percent and is plus-eight on the glass. The Bulldogs are second in steals per game nabbing double digits in five of the first seven contests and no fewer than seven.
Freshman Destiny Coleman leads the team in scoring at 12 points per night shooting 54 percent from the field. She has five double-figure scoring nights and a pair of double-doubles.
Broadcast coverage for Wednesday evening's affair starts at 5:15 p.m. with "The AEC Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station, 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville), and online with video and audio links on cneagles.com/live.
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