HARROGATE, TN -- The fifth-ranked Railsplitters were shocked by the rival Eagles of Carson-Newman College on Wednesday evening, as they took a 64-61 loss in Tex Turner Arena. The loss snaps LMU's 30-game winning streak at home. The loss drops the Railsplitters to 7-2 in the South Atlantic Conference and 17-2 overall. The Eagles move to 4-5 in the SAC and 11-8 on the season.
Jared Johnson led Carson-Newman and all players with 17 points on the evening. Antoine Davis added 16 points as eight different players scored for the Eagles.
The Railsplitters were led by Vincent Bailey's 14 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Desmond Johnson notched a double-double performance with ten points and ten rebounds off the bench. Brandon Armstrong added eight points in the effort.
Following a 3-3 tie to begin the game, Justin Allen's breakaway dunk put the Railsplitters on top with 17:34 left on the clock. LMU would hold the left for most of the half as they would run out to a 15-7 lead with 14:21 remaining in the half. Lorenza Ross put the Railsplitters on top 21-14 with 8:41 left before the Eagles ran off a 5-0 run to cut into the deficit. With 4:22 until the break, Jared Johnson tied the game at 24 apiece. Antoind Davis followed that with a jumper which put Carson-Newman on top. At the break, the Eagles had established a 35-31 lead. This was the first time all season the Railsplitters had trailed at the half.
Lincoln Memorial opened the second half with a flurry as they tied the game at 37-37 with a jumper by Desmond Johnson. At 10:45, Wally Jones gave the Railsplitters a 47-41 lead as they looked to pull away in the contest. The Eagles continued to hang tight as they grabbed a 53-51 lead with a jumper by Johnson at the 5:54 mark. With the game tied at 57-57 with 3:48 remaining, the Eagles grabbed a three point lead with three consecutive free throws.
Carson-Newman held a 63-58 lead following two free throws by Ishmael Sanders with ten seconds remaining. Brandon Armstrong was fouled on his three-point attempt with six seconds on the clock which sent him to the line. Armstrong nailed all three freebies forcing the Railsplitters to foul. Sanders went to the line with five ticks left on the clock. Sanders made the first and missed the second giving LMU the opportunity to tie. CJ Wakeley's long distance heave fell short and the time elapsed with the Eagles downing the Railsplitters by a score of 64-61.
The Railsplitters will look to rebound as they hit the road on Saturday, January 25th for a South Atlantic Conference battle at Wingate University. That game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip.