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Lady Cougars breeze into second round of regional

Mitchell scores 20 points in victory

FROM STAFF REPORTS

GAFFNEY, S.C. -- Third-ranked Columbus State held Caron-Newman without a field goal for 13 minutes and breezed to a 58-40 victory Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.

"It's good to win and advance against a good Carson-Newman team," CSU coach Jonathan Norton said. "Our first few minutes, I thought we had some jitters. Once we got focused and dialed in on the defensive end, we were able to get out in transition.

"We still didn't shoot the ball well, especially from the 3, but to be able to win and shoot 29 percent from the field and 21 percent from the 3 is a good things, especially in the NCAA tournament where everybody is good."

Kaylin Brooks made a layup to give Carson-Newman a 17-14 lead with 6:34 left in the first half.

Carson-Newman would not make another field goal until 13:34 left in the second half. By that point, CSU had been on a 21-4 run to take a 35-21 lead.

CSU (31-1) hit four 3-pointers in the run. Brea Walker, Ariel Johnson and Erin Morrow hit theirs in the first half as CSU went to the locker room with a 28-17 lead.

Dee Dee Deshazer hit a 3-pointer to give CSU a 35-19 lead.

But Carson-Newman was not done. It went on a 15-4 run of its own, closing to within five, 39-34, with 8:11 remaining.

But Deshazer and Tatum hit 3s sandwiched around a layup from Michelle Mitchell as part of a 12-0 run for a 51-34 lead.

"I can't say it was jit

ters. I haven't had jitters since middle school. I just think we were overthinking things," CSU post player Carrie Washington said.

"I was helping a little too much in the beginning, and they were slipping in and getting the backside pass."

Mitchell finished as the only player in the game in double figures with 20 points, her season average. She also had eight rebounds.

Washington led CSU in rebounding with 15.

"I had to adjust to the zone," Mitchell said. "I had to figure out where I was open, attack from there, and kick it out to the shooters."

CSU plays Anderson in the regional semifinals on Saturday at 5 p.m. Anderson beat Newberry 69-57 on Friday.

"There's a reason they've won 26 games," Norton said of Anderson. "They're a very good basketball team. They won their league. I thought they looked really impressive today. Offensively, they run really good stuff and they have a lot of weapons. I think it's a pretty even matchup. Their best athletes are where our best athletes are and they have enough shooters around them to space the floor. I think it will be a very good basketball game and we will have to play well."

Notes: With its 17th straight win, CSU tied the school record for wins in a season. The 2000-01 team went 31-1, losing in the final four. This was also the program's first NCAA win since 2007 when the Lady Cougars beat Elizabeth City State.

CARSON-NEWMAN (19-11)

Simerly, Jessica 4-6 0-1 8; Cupples, Kaitlyn 2-5 4-4 8; Kyle, Whitney 3-5 2-2 8; Peterson, Taylor 3-10 0-0 7; Burstrom, Tatum 1-9 0-0 3; Hodge, Allison 1-2 0-0 2; Brooks, Kailyn 1-6 0-0 2; Franklin, Jassmine 1-3 0-0 2; Pippin, Carly 0-3 0-0 0; Sedlacek, Kianna 0-0 0-0 0; Mclaughlin, Jai Jai 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-49 6-7 40.

COLUMBUS STATE (31-1)

Michelle Mitchell 7-16 6-6 20; Britteny Tatum 2-7 3-4 8; Brea Walker 2-9 0-0 6; Dee Dee Deshazer 2-12 0-0 6; Ashley Asouzu 2-6 1-3 5; Carrie Washington 2-6 0-0 4; Ariel Johnson 1-2 0-0 3; Erin Morrow 1-6 0-0 3; Alexys Woods 1-1 0-0 2; Umeika Henry 0-2 1-1 1; Ashley Johnson 0-0 0-0 0; Eryn Cochran 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-69 11-14 58.

Halftime--Columbus State 28-17. 3-Point Goals--Carson-Newman 2-9 (Peterson, Taylor 1-3; Burstrom, Tatum 1-4; Pippin, Carly 0-2), Columbus State 7-33 (Brea Walker 2-8; Dee Dee Deshazer 2-10; Erin Morrow 1-5; Ariel Johnson 1-1; Britteny Tatum 1-5; Eryn Cochran 0-2; Umeika Henry 0-1; Michelle Mitchell 0-1). Fouled Out--Carson-Newman-None, Columbus State-None. Rebounds--Carson-Newman 32 (Peterson, Taylor 6), Columbus State 51 (Carrie Washington 15). Assists--Carson-Newman 10 (Burstrom, Tatum 4), Columbus State 12 (Carrie Washington 3; Eryn Cochran 3). Total Fouls--Carson-Newman 15, Columbus State 12. Technical Fouls--Carson-Newman-None, Columbus State-None. A-250

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