"New look" Golden Eagles overwhelm Carson-Newman
Photo: Golden Eagle fans got their first glimpse of newcomers Chase Dunn (left) and Liam McMorrow Thursday night.
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -– It didn't take long for coach Mike Sutton's "new look" Golden Eagles to make a good impression on Tennessee Tech basketball fans in Eblen Center Thursday night.
Like, three minutes.
Tech raced out to a quick lead and kept the pace on "explosive" mode all the way to a 95-46 exhibition victory over Carson-Newman College.
Junior guard Zach Bailey ignited a balanced attack that featured a variety of slam dunks to keep the crowd roaring.
Redshirt freshman guard Chase Dunn topped Tech with 15 points, including 13 in the second half as he went 3-for-4 from long range. Bailey finished with 13, all in the first half.
Junior transfer Liam McMorrow had 11 points and six rebounds in his Golden Eagle debut, while Jud Dillard added 10 points and led the team with seven rebounds. Zac Swansey, playing his first game after a redshirt season, had eight assists and two steals.
Senior Charles Newton, playing in front of his family including his grandfather, C.M. Newton (former head coach at Vanderbilt and Alabama, A.D. at Kentucky and chairman of the NCAA Basketball Committee), added six points, four assists and three steals.
Antonio Sullivan led Carson-Newman with 14 points and five rebounds while Ishmael Sanders had 12 points.
By halftime, the Golden Eagles had the contest in control with a 44-14 lead.
Part of the first half domination was Tech's deadly accuracy from the field, hitting 57 percent (16-for-28) including 4-for-9 from long distance.
Part of the difference was due to relentless defense by the Golden Eagles, who forced Carson-Newman into 10 percent (3-for-28) shooting from the field. The Eagles were 1-for-10 from beyond the arc.
Zach Bailey had a pair of 3-pointers as Tech raced out to a 14-3 lead in the first three minutes. The lead hit 20 points with seven minutes remaining in the half as Jud Dillard hit a jumper to make it 29-9.
With 1:39 to play, Tech went ahead by 30 points as Liam McMorrow's dunk pushed the lead to 42-12.
Nine of the 12 players who saw action in the first half put points on the board. For the game, 13 of 14 players scored (only Matt Marseille was scoreless, playing just two minutes before an injury sidelined him).
Tech shot 59.4 percent in the second half, finishing the game with a 58.3 mark (35-for-60). The Golden Eagles were 8-for-17 from long range and had a 51-30 advantage in rebounds.
Carson-Newman bumped its shooting mark to 31 percent in the second half, finishing the game at 21 percent (12-for-57).
Now the Golden Eagles turn their attention to opening the regular season at North Carolina State. Tech visits the Wolfpack on Friday, Nov. 12, for a 6 p.m. CST contest.
Following a second road contest at East Tennessee on Nov. 20, coach Mike Sutton's squad makes its Eblen Center regular season debut on Tuesday, Nov. 23, when Appalachian State comes calling for a 7 p.m. tilt.
Season tickets are on sale online at TTUsports.com, at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center, or by calling (931) 372-3940.