GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Carson-Newman's Shaun Jones scored a career-high 27 points as the Eagles rallied from a 10-point second half deficit in defeating host Tusculum 91-86 Wednesday night at Pioneer Arena.
C-N (14-2, 6-2 South Atlantic Conference) won its fifth straight game and third in a row over their rivals from Greeneville.
Jones went 11-of-16 from the floor and hauled in a season-high 13 rebounds in the victory. Reigning SAC Player of the Year Charles Clark went a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line as he posted 19 points in his 40 minutes of action. Mason Bates poured in 15 markers as he was went an 8-of-8 at the charity stripe to go along with his team-high six assists. Abraham added 14 points off the bench, including his four 3-pointers.
Tusculum (4-11, 2-6 SAC) matched a season-high by connecting on 18 three-pointers, which are tied for fourth-most in school history. TC's 46 three-point tries are the second most in program history and just three off the record 49 attempted at Limestone in 1997.
Peyton Woods led the Pioneers with his 19 points including his five 3-pointers. Rookie Zailan Peeler scored a season-best with 18 points, including 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Dashaunte Smith went 5-of-7 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from three-point land for his 15 points. Senior Ronnie Baylark tallied a dozen points while Zach Hartle finished with eight points and five rebounds. Donovan Donaldson was held to three points, but he came up with a career-high 11 assists with only one turnover in his 35 minutes of work.
Trailing 55-45 with 14:02 left in the game, the Eagles rattled off a 35-15 run over a span of 8:38 to take its largest lead of the game at 80-70 with 3:24 left following a Malik Abraham three-pointer.
Tusculum (4-11, 2-6 SAC) got a Smith three-pointer and a pair of Woods free throws to cut the deficit in half at 80-75 with 2:03 on the clock.
Abraham's trey would prove to be the Eagles final field goal made of the game, but Carson-Newman would get it done at the line going 11-of-15 down the stretch including six in a row to end the game. C-N ended the game going 24-of-32 at the free throw line (75%).
Carson-Newman scored the first seven points of the game as TC missed its first five shots, all three-point attempts. Ronnie Baylark broke the drought with his three-pointer into the game as TC went on a 13-6 run and tied the fray at 13-13 thanks to a Dustin Day triple at the 11:24 mark.
Tusculum took its first lead of the game on a Woods trifecta with 9:16 to go in the half for an 18-17 advantage. C-N jumped back into the lead on back-to-back layups from Jones and a 21-18 advantage.
Tusculum got hot from downtown and shot 7-of-10 from three-point land over a 6:04 span to take a 39-27 lead with 2:03 left before the intermission.
The Eagles answered with eight straight points thanks to triples from Clark and Grant Teichmann, along with a bucket. Caleb Hodnett made two free throws just before the horn as the Pioneers took a 41-35 lead into the locker room.
Carson-Newman finished the game shooting 51.8 percent from floor, including 15-of-27 in the second half (55.6%) as well as firing 7-of-14 from long range. TC ended the game shooting 40.3 percent going 29-of-27, including 15-of-39 (38.5%) in the final 20 minutes.
The Eagles out-rebounded Tusculum by a 44-31 margin, but the Pioneers took advantage of 15 turnovers resulting into 23 points off the C-N miscues.
Tusculum returns to action on Saturday as the Pioneers host Newberry for a 4 p.m. contest.