Home sweet home?
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 3, 2006 2:02 PM
MOUNT OLIVE - Repeat offenders?
Wendy Lee hopes it's only a momentary trend the Mount Olive College women's basketball team has experienced during the New Year's weekend. The Trojans got off to a slow start Friday and suffered a loss against N.C. Central University.
The pattern continued Monday afternoon. The Trojans made just six field goals during a 12-minute span and could never recover in an 88-53 non-conference loss against Presbyterian (S.C.) College at Kornegay Arena. Mount Olive (7-3) endured its second consecutive defeat at home and is 2-2 against South Carolina opponents this season.
Presbyterian, which received votes in this week's USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Division II poll, continued its best start (10-2) since the 1999-2000 season. The Blue Hose shot a season-high 71.8 percent from the floor overall and picked up their fifth road win in six outings.
Lee exited from the locker room and put her coaching bag on the floor. Unarmed with a final stat sheet, Lee had no trouble reciting key numbers, particularly rebounds and free throws, which helped determine the overall outcome. Presbyterian dominated the boards 40-23 and outscored the Trojans 28-9 from the free throw line.
"I felt like both teams got off to a decent start defensively," said Lee.
But Mount Olive couldn't generate any offense. The Trojans managed just five field goals in a 12-minute span and trailed 22-11 at the 10-minute mark.
The Blue Hose, who won just seven games a year ago, effectively used their spacing on offense to extend the Trojans' zone. Guards Amy Jones and Bridget Takach worked the ball around the perimeter to find open teammates or lanes to the basket.
"We executed well in the first half, ran our plays and hit our shots," said Presbyterian coach Jessica Vanco. "We were hungry to play someone different and anxious to see what we had been doing (in practice) would work in the game, and it did.
"We played extremely hard."
While Presbyterian continued to expand its lead, Mount Olive searched for offense. Teneal Boone, the team's leading scorer, drew her second foul early in the half and missed her only field goal attempt. The Trojans' lone senior, Boone missed all five field goal attempts and failed to score in 23 minutes of play.
The Blue Hose capitalized on Boone's absence and easily pushed the ball inside on numerous possessions. Vanco's team shot 16 of 22 at the free throw line in the opening half.
"Teneal didn't get a lot of touches tonight and they did a good job of denying her the ball ... keeping it out of her hands," said Lee. "The (one) shot she had, she didn't finish well under the basket. She needed to be stronger with the ball, create some opportunities for herself by getting on the offensive boards a little better.
"That's one of the things that makes Teneal a really good player because she gets points off offensive boards. I don't think we really got on the glass well tonight at all."
Presbyterian led 42-26 at halftime and increased its lead to 57-30 on Wesley Campbell's 3-pointer.
Mount Olive answered with its best offensive surge of the game. Ashley Jones helped spark an 11-2 run that closed the gap to 59-41. LeAnne Simms, Alisa Jones and Ebony Green each scored either a basket or free throw during the three-minute stretch.
The Blue Hose, who shot a blistering 94.1 percent (16 of 17) from the floor in the second half, responded with a 10-0 run. The Trojans never recovered.
"I think a lot of times when your offense isn't working it can take you out psychologically defensively," said Lee. "We didn't fight through a lot of the shots we weren't making on offense and didn't keep working on defense.
"I think that made a difference because a good team like Presbyterian is going to take advantage of that. They'll make the hole a lot deeper for you."
Green and Tomeka Prichard led Mount Olive with 11 points each, while Alisa Jones provided 10.
Rebecca Wessinger, who has started all 12 games for the Blue Hose, tallied a game-high 22 points. Campbell added 17. Takach contributed 13 and Amy Jones chipped in 10.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday afternoon at home against Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference rival Anderson (S.C.) College. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
Rebecca Wessinger 7 0 8-10 22, Sharie Hopkins 2 0 2-6 6, Cameron Cook 3 0 2-2 8, Amy Jones 4 0 2-2 10, Bridget Takach 4 1 2-4 13, Morgan Johnson 1 0 4-4 6, Wesley Campbell 2 3 4-4 17, Marie Marquez 1 0 3-5 5, Heather Bramble 0 0 1-2 1. TOTALS - 24 4 28-39 88.
MOUNT OLIVE (7-3)
Tomeka Prichard 3 1 2-2 11, Alisa Jones 3 0 4-10 10, Teneal Boone 0 0 0-0 0, Keona Corley 1 0 0-0 2, Anita Rogers 2 0 0-0 4, Lakisha McFadden 0 0 0-0 0, LeAnne Simms 1 1 0-0 5, Meaghan Vanderhorst 2 0 0-0 4, Ashley Jones 2 0 0-0 4, Bokeeter Mozee 0 0 0-0 0, Latara Wade 0 0 0-0 0, Brittney Robich 0 0 0-0 0, Ebony Green 4 0 3-3 11, Anna Bashana 0 0 0-0 0, Sierra Medeiros 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS - 19 2 9-15 53.
Halftime - Presbyterian 42-26. 3-point goals - Presbyterian 4-7 (Wessinger 0-1, Jones 0-1, Takach 1-1, Campbell 3-4); Mount Olive 2-16 (Prichard 1-6, Rogers 0-3, McFadden 0-1, Simms 1-2, Vanderhorst 0-1, As. Jones 0-1, Wade 0-1, Bashana 0-1). Rebounds - Presbyterian 40 (Hopkins 10), Mount Olive 23 (Boone 6). Assists - Presbyterian 18 (Jones 6), Mount Olive 9. Turnovers - Presbyterian 24, Mount Olive 17. Blocked shots - Presbyterian 5 (Campbell 3), Mount Olive 1. Steals - Presbyterian 7 (Takach 4), Mount Olive 13 (Boone 3).
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