01/09/05 — MOC women hold off fiesty Royals

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MOC women hold off fiesty Royals

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on January 9, 2005 2:03 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Nothing was going to stop the Mount Olive women's basketball team from remaining undefeated in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference.

Not a car accident the previous night and not even a better-than-advertised group of Royals.

Senior guard Ladora Charles scored 15 of her game-high 19 points during a tight first half, and the Lady Trojans reeled off a late 12-2 run to defeat Queens College of Charlotte 75-65 on Saturday at College Hall.

Teneal Boone, the team's second-leading scorer, Latoria Harvey, Amber Hill and Shenetta Moye were in a one-car accident Friday night while traveling home after watching a prep game at Spring Creek High School. None of the players were injured -- aside from a bit of stiffness -- and all suited up to meet Queens.

"We're just very thankful that we did have all of them and that their injuries weren't worse," Lady Trojans coach Wendy Lawrence said.

Moving to 3-0 in CVAC play heading into Monday night's home date against Pfeiffer University is also cause to give thanks. For much of the afternoon, the Royals (1-9 overall, 0-3 CVAC) gave Mount Olive (5-4) all it could handle.

Things appeared even graver for the Lady Trojans once Boone picked up her fourth foul with 11 minutes remaining.

With Boone on the bench, Queens sophomore guard Shakema Etheredge hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 60 with 6:25 left on the clock.

Moments later, Lawrence summoned Boone back to the court. The junior forward proceeded to deliver a reverse layup for a four-point Mount Olive lead.

Boone finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action before fouling out.

"I felt that if we could keep the same level of intensity (with Boone on the bench) that we had on defense and on the boards, we could maintain," Lawrence said. "We just needed to get a few stops and execute on offense."

Boone gave the Lady Trojans their first lead of the game at 15-13 with a hook shot with 14 minutes remaining in the first half. Mount Olive would eventually carve out an 11-0 run -- seemingly stealing away all of the Royals' momentum.

But Queens simply refused to go away.

Sophomore guard Phylicia Turner, who scored 14 of her 18 points during the opening 20 minutes, hit a runner at the buzzer to cut Mount Olive's lead to 41-40 at intermission.

Maggie Austin also scored 18 for Queens. It wasn't enough to counter the play of Charles or the late-game heroics of Boone and the Mount Olive defense, which limited the Royals to 36 percent (11 of 31) shooting during the second half.

"I didn't even realize we had the lead late in the second half," Lawrence said. "This game seemed so close throughout. Queens battled so hard, and their players were very scrappy. They were never out of this game. We were fortunate to hit a few shots late.

"I'm glad we're 3-0, but each team in this conference is competitive. We don't take any win for granted."

Notes: Mount Olive freshman Keona Corley handed out a game-high seven assists and added five steals ... Harvey finished with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. ... Mount Olive entered the game with the fifth-highest rebounding margin in NCAA Division II. The Lady Trojans outrebounded Queens by 12 (49-37). ... Charles shot 7 of 23 from the field and 2 of 11 from 3-point range. ... Mount Olive junior Heidi Busch had eight points and four rebounds.