Prichard delivers tough shot
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 23, 2005 2:00 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Freshman Tomeka Prichard drained an off-balanced, turn-around shot on the baseline to give Mount Olive a one-point lead with 6.3 seconds left in regulation.
But those six-plus seconds seemed like an eternity.
Virginia State senior Erica Glasper missed an open shot with two seconds remaining and teammate Alexandra Street grabbed the offensive rebound. Street missed the easy putback as time expired and Mount Olive escaped with a 66-65 victory at Kornegay Arena.
The Trojans (3-0) prevailed in a home opener for the second consecutive year, and defeated a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association team for the first time in three tries since Dec. 30, 2004. Mount Olive lost to CIAA members Livingstone and St. Augustine's a year ago.
The non-conference contest featured 13 lead changes and seven ties.
Virginia State twice held five-point leads early in the second half before senior guard Anita Rogers warmed up from 3-point range. The former James Kenan standout buried back-to-back 3-pointers -- off assists from sophomore guard Keona Corley -- to pull Mount Olive within 45-43.
Prichard's layup off another Corley assist forged a 45-45 tie.
"Anita hit some big shots to give us a lift that we desperately needed," said MOC coach Wendy Lawrence. "Tomeka played really strong defense on number 21 (Glasper) that we needed. She really held her composure and played well for us.
"Down the stretch, we had different players hitting big shots for us."
Mount Olive grabbed its biggest lead -- 59-51 -- when Prichard swished a baseline jumper off Teneal Boone's assist. Boone snagged an offensive rebound off Corley's missed free throw with 7:19 remaining in the second half.
Virginia State answered with an 11-0 run.
The visiting Trojans used a fullcourt press that disrupted Mount Olive's offense and forced a couple of turnovers. VSU turned those miscues into points and seized a 59-59 tie at the 4:20 mark.
Katania Walker capped the surge with an uncontested 3-pointer.
"That particular defense does slow teams down and we have one that's more aggressive, but they were smaller (as a team)," said VSU coach Stephanie Evans. "We wanted them to take time off the clock and not be able to run their offense. The girls settled down (during the run).
"We said we've been here before, have to be patient and execute (offensively) by taking time off the clock."
The teams traded leads before Boone picked off a VSU pass in the backcourt. She threw the ball crosscourt to a leaping Corley, who yelled for timeout as she caught the ball before going out of bounds.
A few seconds later, Corley hit Prichard for the game-winning shot.
"That went up with a prayer," said a grinning Lawrence.
VSU called timeout and set up a three-option play in the huddle. Glasper, a preseason all-CIAA pick, emerged the first option when she received the initial pass.
Lawrence and the Mount Olive bench agonizingly watched as Glasper's shot nicked the front of the rim. Street got position for the offensive rebound, but couldn't give VSU its first win of the season.
"We talked in the timeout about good defensive effort and switching on every screen because they try to free her (Glasper) up for an open look at the basket," said Lawrence. "I probably didn't emphasize enough to box out because they did get a second look that really could have hurt us.
"We're just fortunate they couldn't put it back in."
Foul trouble plagued Boone and Glasper during the opening half. Freshman Alisa Jones provided 12 points and missed one field goal in seven attempts in Boone's absence. A 6-foot forward from Fayetteville, Jones emerged the game's top scorer with a career-high 17 points and five rebounds.
"That is a spectacular performance for any freshman and I'm just very proud of her," said Lawrence. "This was a group effort and always team oriented in what we were doing. We didn't try to take over as individuals and rely on any one individual.
"That helped us keep the focus we needed to finish this game as a team."
Notes: Mount Olive recorded a season-high 22 team assists with Corley dished out 11. ... Rogers finished with 13 points in 31 minutes of play. ... Boone had 10 rebounds, giving her 28 for the season. ... Glasper led three VSU players with 15 points, followed by Walker (13) and Janae Johnson (11). ... The teams meet again Dec. 19 at Virginia State.
VIRGINIA STATE (0-3)
Erica Glasper 6 0 3-3 15, Felicia Gibbs 1 0 4-6 6, Caromekia Parker 2 0 2-3 6, Katania Walker 1 2 5-6 13, Janae Johnson 5 0 1-2 11, Alexandra Street 0 0 0-0 0, Asheley Alexander 1 0 0-0 2, Bren Rosser 4 0 0-0 8, Laurice Lockhart 2 0 0-0 4, Janiya Bellard 0 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 22 2 15-20 65.
MOUNT OLIVE (3-0)
Tilah Worthy 0 0 0-0 0, Teneal Boone 1 0 3-4 5, Sierra Medeiros 3 0 0-0 6, Keona Corley 2 0 1-3 5, Anita Rogers 2 3 0-0 13, Tomeka Prichard 4 0 0-0 8, LeAnne Simms 0 0 0-0 0, Meaghan Vanderhorst 1 0 0-0 2, Ashley Jones 0 1 0-0 3, Bokeeter Mozee 0 0 0-0 0, Ebony Green 1 1 0-0 7, Alisa Jones 7 0 3-5 17. TOTALS -- 22 5 7-12 66.
Halftime -- VSU 36-32. Rebounds -- Mount Olive 38 (Boone 10), VSU 34 (Gibbs 10). Assists -- Mount Olive 22 (Corley 11), VSU 11 (Gibbs 3). Turnovers -- Mount Olive 22, VSU 15. Blocked shots -- Mount Olive 3 (Boone 3), VSU 6 (Gibbs 5). Steals -- Mount Olive 6 (Corley, Boone 2), VSU 13 (Gibbs 5). Technical fouls -- VSU bench.
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