Carson Newman led for the first twenty-six minutes on Monday Night, and led by as many as ten points in the first half before Appalachian rallied to a 62-59 exhibition win. Antoine Davis and Ishmael Sanders combined to shoot 40% from behind the arc on 6-15 shooting to lead the Eagles with 21 and 16 points respectively. The Eagles shot 50% from the floor and from three point range in the first half, but cooled off to shoot 41% from the floor and 25% from three in the second half. Appalachian manhandled the defensive glass, only allowing two offensive rebounds. The Mountaineers were able to secure 13 offensive rebounds that they turned into ten second chance points.
Unfortunately, we saw a high turnover number from the Mountaineers as they gave the ball up on 18 occasions, compared to only 12 from Carson-Newman. However, this game was won from the free throw line, which is something I think we all could used to. The Mountaineers trailed by five points at halftime and outscored the Eagles by ten points in the second half from the free throw line. On top of that, the Mountaineers shot 81% from the line for the game. That is three straight games, the scrimmage, and two exhibitions where the Mountaineers shot better from the free throw line than they did on average last season. It is a very encouraging trend.
Jay Canty led all scorers with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but he did it very quietly. It did not seem like Canty took 17 shots in the game, but that is usually the case when most of the shots are going in. Canty has been able to score from all points on the court. Twelve points were scored from the field, nine from three-pointers and six on the foul line. Canty also secured the game for the Mountaineers by stealing the inbounds pass as Carson-Newman looked to tie the game on their final possession.
As we have mentioned, this team is still a work in progress and hopefully they will come together in a week’s time, before their first Division I game. Montreat on Friday should be a win, but High Point will provide a challenge next week. Carson-Newman was a team that was game. On Saturday, The Eagles took ETSU to the wire before falling by eight points in Johnson City. Keep in mind Appalachian was manhandled twice by ETSU last year.
Montreat is 1-2 on the season, and on their schedule, they list the game on Friday Night as an exhibition, along with all of their games against Division I competition, including The Citadel, UNCA and Presbyterian.