Jefferson City, T.N. - Southern Wesleyan defeated Carson-Newman in an 80-78 final on Wednesday evening.
The Warriors shot 47.5% from the field in the win over the Eagles. Ta'Jay Dunlap lead the team with 22 points and he was followed by Solomon Smith with 19, Cameron Holmes with 15, and Clenzo Ross with 14 points. Southern Wesleyan picked up a combined 26 rebounds, led by Smith with seven. Of the 13 assists, Clenzo Ross had six and Dunlap had four. Jalen Lowery and Smith each came up with blocks and Dunlap had four steals as the team picked up seven steals.
Final: Southern Wesleyan 80, Carson-Newman 78
Records: Southern Wesleyan (3-2) Carson-Newman (2-3)
Coach Pasqua Says...
"Very proud of our team. Carson-Newman has a great team and program. Our guys stuck together and pulled one out."
How It Happened
The Warriors jumped out first in the contest to take a 4-0 lead on a pair of free throws from Ta'Jay Dunlap and a jumper from Holmes. The Eagles answered, but the Warriors were able to maintain a consistent lead. Dunlap and Solomon Smith would be the leading scorers for the first half and a layup from Dunlap would extend the Warriors lead to 20-13 giving them the biggest lead of the half. The Eagles threatened mutiple times, pulling within one point. Carson-Newman gained their first lead at 30-29 on a layup from Cameron Andre. They were only able to pull ahead by four at the most as the Warriors continued to battle for control with shots from Dunlap and Clenzo Ross. With roughly a minute left, the score was tied at 38-38. A jumper from Smith would put the Warriors ahead 40-38, but a costly turnover from Southern Wesleyan would allow the Eagles to take a 42-40 lead going into halftime.
Carson-Newman extended their lead to 48-40 before a 3-pointer from Dunlap would cut their lead to five points. The Warriors would slowly chip away at the Eagles lead and a layup in the paint from Smith would tie it at 48-48. After each team traded baskets, the Warriors gained the momentum to make an 8-0 run and hold onto a 58-51 lead. Southern Wesleyan maintained their lead until the Eagles tied it at 65-65. The Warriors were able to rebound and regain the lead with a layup from Holmes. SWU pushed their lead as the Eagles kept right on their heels. Ross and Dunlap were able to provide a small lead, but the Eagles crept within two after a 3-pointer from Jaylan Mcgill nearing the 30 second mark. Opposite of the first half, the Warriors forced a Carson-Newman turnover and went on to win the game 80-78.
Southern Wesleyan will open up Conference Carolinas play on November 23 as they travel to take on the Mount Olive Trojans at 4 p.m. They will then host the North Greenville Crusaders on November 26 at 7:30 p.m.