02/20/04 — MOC teams in action this weekend

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MOC teams in action this weekend

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 20, 2004 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- When we last left College Hall, Mount Olive College students were mobbing the Trojan men's basketball team in celebration of Marcus West's 80-foot buzzer-beater that defeated then-undefeated and third-ranked Pfeiffer 108-105 on February 9.

Since then, the Trojans endured a tough road trip, during which they suffered consecutive losses for the first time this season. Tomorrow night, Mount Olive hopes to recapture some magic back at home.

Mount Olive hopes to end a three-game losing skid Saturday as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball. Tip-off is 7 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than the normal starting time.

Mount Olive (17-6 overall, 11-5 CVAC) is coming off an 84-77 loss at Queens Tuesday as the Trojans led by 11 at halftime, but Queens rallied for the win in the second half. Maurice Horton led four players in double figures with 18 points, while West finished with 16 points and Sean Barnett added 15. Barnett has scored in double figures in each of his last three games. Goldsboro High School graduate Victor Young had his streak of three consecutive double-figure games snapped against Queens.

One major key for Mount Olive will be defense in the second half. In Mount Olive's last four games, the Trojans have allowed an average of 57 points in the second half. In the Trojans' previous four games, they allowed an average of only 59.5 points for the entire game. Mount Olive has been without starting point guard Janson Greene (foot) and forward/center Sharome Holloway (wrist). Both players are likely out for the season.

Lees-McRae (9-14, 5-11) defeated Anderson 86-81 Wednesday in a game that had been postponed from late January due to a winter storm. Tyreek Ramseur led Lees-McRae with 37 points and 13 rebounds.

Mount Olive defeated Lees-McRae 98-71 in the first meeting January 24 at Banner Elk, N.C. Johnny Galarza led a balanced attack with 13 points, while Holloway scored 12 and West added 11. Mark Bitzenhofer finished with a career-high 10 points and four other Trojans scored eight points. Ramseur led Lees-McRae with a game-high 24 points.

Saturday's game will play a major role both in the CVAC standings and the NCAA II East Region Poll. Mount Olive is ranked No. 6 in the region and likely needs a win to remain in the top 10. The Trojans enter Saturday's contest in third place in the CVAC standings, one game behind Queens and a half-game ahead of Barton, which beat nationally fourth-ranked Pfeiffer 72-67 Thursday night.

Notes: Senior guard Carlos Simon, a member of the Mount Olive junior varsity squad, will join the varsity team beginning with tomorrow night's game ... Saturday's men's and women's basketball doubleheader is part of Mount Olive's 22nd Annual Basketball Church Night.

Women's basketball --

MOC heating up

before CVAC tourney

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive College women's basketball team put itself in a position to host a first-round game in next month's CVAC Tournament with its come-from-behind win Tuesday.

Now the Trojans take the first step towards trying to stay in that position É or perhaps even get a first-round bye.

Mount Olive seeks its fourth win in five games as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's basketball Saturday at College Hall. Tip-off is 5 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than the normal starting time.

Mount Olive (10-13 overall, 6-10 CVAC) rallied from a 17-point deficit on the road Tuesday as the Trojans defeated Queens 62-59. Ladora Charles scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, including a key free throw with three seconds remaining. Latoria Harvey scored 15 points, while Teneal Boone pulled down 10 rebounds, her fourth double-digit rebound total in her last five games.

Boone's 10-rebound performance marked the 20th time in 23 games at least one Mount Olive player has recorded 10 or more rebounds. The Trojans have had at least one player pull down eight rebounds in every game this season.

Lees-McRae (11-12, 8-8) is coming off an 81-70 loss at Anderson Wednesday in a game that had to be rescheduled from late January due to a winter storm. Courtney Gogolinski led five players in double figures with 16 points.

In the first meeting between the two teams, Lees-McRae broke open a close game early in the second half to defeat Mount Olive 76-52 January 24 at Banner Elk, N.C. Melanie Cobb led the Trojans with 13 points, while Boone and Tanika Hudgins scored 11 points apiece.

Momentum was on Lees-McRae's side in the first meeting as the Bobcats entered the contest on a four-game winning streak, but Mount Olive hopes the roles are reversed in tomorrow's contest. The Trojans have won three of their last four games, while Lees-McRae has lost four of its last five.

Mount Olive's win over Queens Tuesday put the Trojans in sole possession of eighth place in the CVAC standings. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place teams host first-round games in the CVAC Tournament, while the top five teams get first-round byes and move directly to the quarterfinal round. Mount Olive is only two games behind Lees-McRae for the No. 5 spot and only one game behind sixth-place Erskine. The Trojans are only a half-game behind seventh-place St. Andrews, which lost 89-48 at Belmont Abbey Thursday.

Baseball --

Big series with Pfeiffer

this weekend

MOUNT OLIVE -- It may be a bit early to call the Mount Olive baseball team's three-game series at Pfeiffer this weekend the biggest series of the season.

But when the defending regular season conference champion is going up against the defending conference tournament champion, perhaps calling it the biggest series of the season isn't an exaggeration.

Mount Olive opens conference play this weekend as the Trojans travel to Misenheimer for a three-game Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference baseball series against nationally 28th-ranked Pfeiffer. The two teams play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon, then wrap up the series with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.

Mount Olive (8-2 overall, 0-0 CVAC) swept a doubleheader Wednesday with a pair of one-run wins at Wingate, 3-2 (eight innings) in game one and 6-5 in game two. Stevie Parrish homered in both games, while Craig Hurba doubled home the winning run in game one and hit a game-breaking three-run homer in game two. Hurba and Parrish lead the Trojans with three home runs apiece.

Wednesday's sweep extends the Trojans' winning streak to six after a 2-2 start. The two wins also put two more Trojan pitchers in the win column as Brett Williams won game one in relief and starter Weston Curles picked up the win in game two. Ricky Duke leads the Trojans at 2-0, while six other pitchers, including Williams and Curles, are 1-0.

Pfeiffer (8-0, 0-0) is ranked No. 28 in this week's Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Division II Top 30 Poll. Pfeiffer is coming off a 17-1 victory over Carson-Newman Wednesday.

In addition to the two teams splitting the two conference titles last season, Mount Olive and Pfeiffer captured the top two spots in the CVAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. Pfeiffer finished first with 60 points, followed by Mount Olive with 58 points. Each team received four first-place votes in the poll.

Softball -- Shaw games called for conditions

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive College softball team's doubleheader at Shaw, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, was postponed due to wet grounds. A make-up date has not been announced.

Mount Olive hopes for a dry playing field and friendly weather as the Trojans open Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play Saturday at Coker. Game time is 2 p.m. at Hartsville, S.C.

Mount Olive (0-1 overall, 0-0 CVAC) is playing its first game since a season-opening 14-4 loss at home against Longwood. Kim Goens had two hits for the Trojans, including an RBI-single in a four-run fifth inning. Niki Price and Erin Wilson also had run-scoring singles in the inning.

Coker plays its season opener today at home against Pfeiffer after having its first two dates postponed due to rain. Coker was picked No. 1 in the CVAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Mount Olive's game against Longwood was played in cold temperatures with heavy winds and intermittent rain. Saturday's forecast for Hartsville calls for mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the 60's.

After playing at Coker Saturday, the Trojans travel to Newberry Sunday for a non-conference doubleheader.

Tennis --

Teams head

south of the border

MOUNT OLIVE -- After having their last two scheduled matches canceled because of the weather, the Mount Olive College men's and women's tennis teams hope to see action south of the border this weekend as the Trojans travel to South Carolina for a pair of Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference matches.

Mount Olive is in Due West, S.C., today to take on Erskine, then travels to Anderson, S.C., tomorrow for a match against Anderson.

The Mount Olive men's tennis team (1-0 overall, 0-0 CVAC) is playing for the first time since a 9-0 non-conference victory over Johnson C. Smith on February 7. Mount Olive is led by Fernando Crisosto, who is ranked No. 10 in the ITA Division II Mid-Atlantic Region and No. 41 in the nation.

On the women's side, Mount Olive (0-0 overall, 0-0 CVAC) is still looking to play its first match of the season. The Trojans are led by last year's CVAC Women's Tennis Freshman of the Year and All-CVAC first team selection Lucia Henkle and All-CVAC second team honoree Mariana Shimoda.

Today's match marks the season opener for both Erskine's men's and women's tennis teams, which had their first three scheduled matches postponed due to the weather. Anderson's men's team (1-3, 1-0) is coming off an 8-1 victory over Lees-McRae Wednesday, while Anderson's women's squad (0-1, 0-1) fell to Lees-McRae 6-3 Wednesday.

Notes É Mount Olive has announced make-up dates for matches that were recently rained out. The Trojans will travel to Barton on Tuesday, then the Trojans' men's team will play host to North Carolina Wesleyan Thursday. (The match was originally scheduled for Tuesday.) Mount Olive's match against Francis Marion has been rescheduled for April 6.