Carson-Newman outlasts Lander at Bearcat Classic

Nicklas Jonsson goes for a layup on Saturday as Lander fell to Carson-Newman (Photo by Laura Brown)

GREENWOOD – Carson-Newman University outscored the Lander Bearcats 19-9 over the game’s final five minutes, pulling away with an 88-75 victory in the final round of the Bearcat Classic Saturday afternoon at Horne Arena.

The Eagles, who beat Southern Wesleyan in their Bearcat Classic opener Friday night, improved to 2-0.

Lander, playing without leading scorer JR Washington as well as Sergio Smith, fell to 1-1.

Rahu Purdie led the Bearcats with 19 points, while Jordan Dingle and Jarryd Coleman added 14 points apiece. Telvin Gabriel paced Lander with seven rebounds.

Cameron Holmes led Carson-Newman with 19 points, Shaun Jones posted a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Sawyer Williams also had a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards, Charles Clark scored 14 points and Zack Pangallo added 10.

Carson-Newman scored 11 unanswered points to build an 11-2 lead and was up 19-7 before the Bearcats rallied. Lander scored 10 unanswered points with Purdie’s layup high off the glass, Dingle’s tear drop in the lane and Purdie’s turnaround jumper pulling the hosts within 19-15 midway through the first half.

The shooting of Purdie, Dingle and Clenzo Ross kept the Bearcats close and they took their first lead since it was 2-0 on Chris Tate‘s turnaround jumper making it 33-32 with 2:30 left.

Lander tied the game at 38 with 1:05 left in the half on Nicklas Jonsson‘s basket, took the lead on a Purdie jumper with 42 seconds to go, and Purdie nailed a long 3 with a second left for a 42-38 halftime advantage.

The Eagles opened the second half with a 17-4 run, building a 55-46 lead in the first five minutes.

But the Bearcats responded with Coleman’s 3 pulling them within 57-54 with 12:50 left. Lander tied it at 60-all inside the 11-minute mark on a basket by TJ Knight.

Holmes hit a 3, giving Carson-Newman a 66-60 lead with 8:09 left in the middle of a 9-0 run.

Down 69-60, the Bearcats ended the run on a pair of Coleman 3s, one from the right corner and the second from the left cutting the deficit to 69-66 with 5:30 to go. But Clark answered with a long 3 for a six-point Eagles lead at the five-minute mark.

Coleman’s fourth 3 of the second half cut Lander’s deficit to 77-71 with 2:22 to go.

But Carson-Newman was able to run nearly a minute off the clock, missing a 3 but grabbing the offensive rebound to re-set the shot clock, then Clark converted a three-point play for an 80-71 advantage with 1:37 left.

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