JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. --- Carson-Newman's Charles Clark scored 32 points including 24 in the second half to lead the Eagles to a 112-103 South Atlantic Conference victory over Tusculum Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
C-N (20-5, 12-5 SAC) used an 18-5 run late in the game to complete the season sweep over the Pioneers (6-18, 4-13 SAC) and record its fourth straight win over their in-state rivals.
The Eagles finished the game shooting 56 percent from the floor including 20-of-32 in the second half (63%). Carson-Newman also went 28-of-38 from the free throw line including 22-of-28 in the second half alone.
C-N placed five players in double-figure scoring including three with 20 or more points including Clark (32), Mason Bates (26) and Shaun Jones (21). Clark went 10-of-12 from the floor and a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe. Bates set a career-high in point production as he went 12-of-14 from the free throw line and dished out six assists.
Tusculum junior Donovan Donaldson led the Pioneers with his 23 markers and five assists, while rookie Elon Smallwood matched a season-high with his 18 points as he went 8-of-10 from the field, including a perfect 7-of-7 inside the three-point arc. TC freshman Dashaunte Smith finished with 17 points for a third consecutive game, while also grabbing five rebounds and dished out four assists in his 30 minutes of action.
Tusculum finished the game shooting 48.1 percent from the field, including 21-of-38 in the second period for 55.3 percent. But the Pioneers only went 3-of-15 from beyond the arc in the second half (20%) while the Eagles went 5-of-11 from downtown (46%).
Carson-Newman jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first 5:32 of the contest before Tusculum responded with six straight points to trim the deficit to 13-12 following a Donaldson layup at the 12:52 mark of the period.
The Eagles pushed the lead back out to six points and led by as many as 10 following a three-pointer from Malik Abraham as C-N led 38-28 with 4:50 to go in the half.
TC junior Malik Tyree came up with a steal and a dunk and Baylark followed his third triple of the half as the Pioneers trailed 38-33 with 3:20 to go in the period. C-N led 42-35 following a bucket by Jones, but the Pioneers closed out the final 2:24 of the period with a 10-3 capped off by a pair of Smith free throws with no time left on the clock to send the teams to the locker room tied 45-45.
Carson-Newman opened with a 9-0 run in the opening 1:50 of the second half to lead 54-45. Five minutes into the period the Eagles led 66-59 thanks to an Abraham trey. TC followed with a 10-2 run to take its first lead of the game at 69-68 with 12:26 left in the game after a Smallwood layup.
C-N bounced back with six straight points from Bates on a three-point play and a triple to lead 74-69 with 11:45 left on the clock.
Tusculum answered with an 11-2 spurt to take its largest lead of the game at 80-76 which was capped off by a Jackie Davis three-pointer with nine minutes remaining.
With Tusculum holding onto an 82-79 lead, the Eagles mounted their biggest run of the evening as Carson-Newman made six straight shots and went 8-of-9 from the free throw line during its 18-5 run that lasted 4:29 to give the home team a 97-87 advantage with 4:27 remaining.
C-N led 101-90 following two made free throws from Bates with 3:18 left. Hartle nailed a three-pointer and Donaldson converted a three-point play to give Tusculum to within five (101-96) with 2:34 to go.
But that would be as close as the Pioneers would get as the Eagles pushed the lead back out to double figures with a Clark bucket, a Bates trey and C-N going 6-of-8 from the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the victory.
Carson-Newman out-rebounded the Pioneers by a 43-34 margin as Clark led all players with his eight rebounds.
Tusculum established a season-high in points (103) while committing just seven turnovers on the night.
The Pioneers set a new school record for most three-point field goal attempts in a season. Tusculum's 791 three-point shots surpasses 750 attempted by the 1995-1996 team, who achieved the feat in 31 games. Tusculum's 282 triples this year are the third-most in program history and just eight away from the 290 posted by the 95-96 club.
The Pioneers return home on Saturday to host Lenoir-Rhyne for Senior Day. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. at Pioneer Arena.