01/04/07 — Mount Olive falls to Shaw

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Mount Olive falls to Shaw

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on January 4, 2007 2:28 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive erased a 14-point deficit, but a late 9-0 run gave Shaw the lead for good for a 65-58 victory over the Trojans in non-conference women's basketball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. Tomeka Prichard, Helen Moore and Brittney Robich combined for 48 of the Trojans' 58 points, while Keona Corley matched a season high with 12 assists. Shaw was led by Nicky Souter with game highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Mount Olive (4-5) was held scoreless for just over three minutes into the game before Prichard's three-pointer tied the contest 3-3. Prichard has hit at least one three-point field goal in 25 of her last 26 games. Shaw (6-4) pulled away and Souter's three-point play gave the Bears their first double-digit lead at 22-11 with 6:15 left in the half.

A pair of free throws by Zania Steele with 1:50 remaining gave Shaw its biggest lead at 30-16, but a pair of length-of-the-court passes by Prichard led to fast-break layups by Moore and Corley, and Robich hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 50 seconds to pull Mount Olive within 32-24 at halftime. Prichard assisted on each of the Trojans' final four field goals and dished out six of her career-high seven assists in the first half.

Corley, who was held to one assist in the first half, recorded assists on the Trojans' first four baskets of the second half as Prichard's three-pointer pulled Mount Olive within 36-31 with 16:56 left in the game. Na'Keisha Anthony's basket and Souter's three-point play helped Shaw build the lead back to 10. Alisa Jones' basket then ignited a run of 11 unanswered points for Mount Olive and Moore's basket with 11:34 remaining gave the Trojans a 44-43 lead, their first lead of the game.

Moore's layup with 7:21 remaining broke a 50-50 tie, but Shaw tied the game on a pair of free throws by Jan'el Baxter and Souter's short basket put the Bears ahead to stay with 6:03 left in the contest. Baxter and Souter combined for all of the points in the 9-0 run as Shaw built the lead to 59-52 with 4:32 remaining.

Mount Olive got as close as three points after Prichard hit a layup, then found Sierra Medeiros under the basket to pull the Trojans within 61-58 with 2:34 left to play. Mount Olive regained possession after Corley drew an offensive foul in the backcourt, but Souter forced a held ball on the Trojans' possession and the arrow pointed to Shaw. The Trojans were unable to score the rest of the way.

Despite the loss, Trojan assistant coach Aisha Bryant says the coaching staff was excited about the team's effort in the second half.

"We didn't fold at halftime and we went at them in the second half," said Bryant. "I think our kids did a very good job of handling Shaw's pressure."

Bryant doesn't believe the team was intimated by Shaw's recent success, which included a trip to last year's NCAA II Elite Eight and a year-end No. 10 national ranking.

"We understood Shaw's tradition of success, but we didn't dwell on it," said Bryant. "Our kids did a good job of not backing down."

Prichard finished with 17 points, while Moore tallied 16 points and Robich added 15 points. Corley recorded eight steals as the Trojans forced 32 turnovers. Jones pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Baxter finished with 12 points for Shaw, while Anthony added 10 points. The Bears held a nearly two-to-one advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Trojans 55-28, including 23 offensive rebounds. Shaw also held the advantage at the free throw line, going 16-for-26, compared to 2-for-4 for the Trojans.

Mount Olive resumes Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play Saturday as the Trojans travel to Banner Elk to take on Lees-McRae in a rematch of last year's CVAC Tournament first round. Tip-off is 2 p.m.

Shaw travels to Charlotte on Friday at 3 p.m. to take on Johnson C. Smith in a CIAA contest.