Trojan triumph -- Harvey's layup seals key road win
Published in Sports on January 7, 2005 1:57 PM
WILSON -- Mount Olive head women's basketball coach Wendy Lawrence says Thursday night's game against Barton came down to one thing: a senior who "refused to lose."
Latoria Harvey's basket off Shenetta Moye's bounce pass with 3.5 seconds left broke a tie and lifted Mount Olive to a 65-63 victory over Barton in their NCAA Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's basketball game Thursday at Wilson Gymnasium.
The win was the Trojans' first over Barton in two years and their first on Barton's home floor in at least seven years.
Mount Olive (4-4, 2-0 CVAC) led wire-to-wire in the first half, building the lead to as many as 11 points. Consecutive layups by Teneal Boone and a 3-pointer by Ladora Charles sparked a 9-0 run and Sierra Medeiros converted a three-point play to give the Trojans a 24-13 lead with 9:43 left in the half. Boone's layup came off a behind-the-back pass from Charles as she was driving the lane.
Barton (1-6, 0-2) answered with a 12-2 run, capped by a three-point play by Kelly Lamotta to pull the Bulldogs within 26-25. But the Trojans held Barton to one field goal over the final six minutes of the half and led 38-32 at halftime.
Harvey and Charles combined for all of the points as the Trojans started the second half with a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 45-32 with 17:47 remaining. Barton struggled against Mount Olive's full-court pressure and had trouble setting up an offense as the Trojans alternated between a man-to-man and a 2-3 zone.
The Trojans maintained a double-digit lead until Barton started applying full-court pressure and forcing turnovers of its own. The Bulldogs chipped away until Lamotta's three-point play with 6:54 remaining gave Barton its first lead at 57-55. Boone's basket tied the game and Harvey and Moye both went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to give the Trojans a 61-57 lead with 5:02 left in the contest.
After Lamotta and Harvey traded baskets, Keauna Vinson scored from inside and Shannon Finis hit from outside as Barton tied the game 63-63 with 1:37 remaining. After each team missed a field goal attempt, Vinson stole an inbounds pass underneath the Barton basket and the Bulldogs called timeout with 20 seconds remaining.
Lawrence says senior leadership sparked the Trojans during the timeout.
"Latoria's emotion and intensity in the huddle carried over to the team," said Lawrence. "The seniors wanted this one bad."
Mount Olive's defense forced a traveling call with 18 seconds remaining and the Trojans had an opportunity to play for the last shot. With the clock winding down, Moye threaded a bounce pass in between two defenders and into the hands of Harvey, who laid the ball in off the glass with 3.5 seconds remaining. Barton's desperation shot from beyond halfcourt was well short and the Trojans celebrated the victory.
"I'm not sure how Shenetta got that pass to Latoria," said Lawrence. "We had another option, but I guess Shenetta and Latoria were determined to make that play."
Harvey finished with her second double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. Boone scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half, while Charles finished with nine points and three steals. Moye dished out a game-high five assists, while 5-foot-5 guard Keona Corley pulled down six rebounds to go with four assists.
Lamotta led all scorers with 19 points, while Vinson and Kim Butts added 12 points apiece. Vinson also had five steals.
Mount Olive, which ranks fifth in the nation in rebound margin, outrebounded Barton 39-31. The win was the Trojans' first on Barton's home floor in Lawrence's seven years at Mount Olive, including two years as assistant coach.
"We're happy to get that win," said Lawrence. "Getting a win on the road, especially against Barton, is big, but it's the way we won that I'm really proud of the team for. Having a lead and losing it, and then coming back to win on the final play is really big for us."
The Trojans are back in action Saturday as Mount Olive plays its first home game in more than a month against Queens in CVAC action. Tip-off is 2 p.m. at College Hall.
Lawrence hopes Harvey's heroics and attitude can carry over to Saturday.
"Latoria Harvey's 'refuse to lose' attitude helped us on that last play," said Lawrence. "She provided some good poise on that play and gave us the chance to win."
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