Trojans knock off Barton
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 13, 2007 2:35 PM
BARTON -- When asked how Mount Olive overcame having three starters fouling out to hold on for a win on the road at Barton, sophomore forward Alisa Jones answered with one word.
Alisa Jones led four players in double figures with 20 points and Mount Olive withstood second half foul trouble to defeat regionally third-ranked Barton 80-71 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's basketball Monday. The win puts Mount Olive above .500 in conference play for the first time this season and improves the Trojans' chances of getting a first round bye in the CVAC Tournament.
Jones, Tomeka Prichard and Brittney Robich all played the final 9:32 of the game, Keshaun Mozee played the final 7:05 and Jill Oaks played the final 5:19 of the game. Starters Keona Corley, Sierra Medeiros and Helen Moore all fouled out in the second half.
Mount Olive (13-11 overall, 9-8 CVAC) held Barton to one field goal through the first five minutes and took an early 9-2 lead after Prichard's three-pointer. Barton (17-5, 13-3) pulled within three midway through the first half, but consecutive three-pointers by Robich and Prichard capped an 8-0 run and gave the Trojans their biggest lead of the half at 23-12 with 8:55 remaining.
Jones scored nine of Mount Olive's last 15 points of the first half and the Trojans went into the locker room with a 38-30 halftime lead. Jones had 15 points off the bench at the break.
Esty Flores scored nine straight Barton points early in the second half to bring the Bulldogs within a point and Jo Denevan hit two free throws with 15:08 left to play to give Barton its first lead at 45-44.
Medeiros' three-pointer highlighted a 5-0 Trojan run as Mount Olive regained a four-point lead.
By the midpoint of the second half, Corley, Medeiros and Moore were all playing with four fouls and Medeiros became the first casualty at the 9:32 mark. Candice Britton hit 1-of-2 free throws as Barton tied the game 56-56.
Jones, Prichard and Robich came back off the bench and stayed on the floor the rest of the game. But it would be Moore who would control the game over the next 75 seconds.
Moore converted a three-point play and scored all the points in a 7-0 run as the Trojans went ahead 63-56 and took the lead for good. Mount Olive's celebration would be short lived as Flores hit another three-pointer to pull Barton within four and Corley, the Trojans' starting point guard, fouled out with 7:05 remaining.
Corley, who ranks third in the nation in assists, dished out 10 assists. Mozee, who sat out much of the first half with an injury, replaced Corley for the rest of the game.
The Trojans built the lead to 67-58 with 5:30 left to play after Prichard hit a pair of free throws, but Moore picked up her fifth foul on Barton's next possession. Oaks came in for Moore and the Trojans played the final five-plus minutes with the same five on the floor.
Barton chipped away at the lead and Kim Butts' layup with 2:09 remaining pulled the Bulldogs within 70-68. Barton nearly forced a turnover in the backcourt, but Mozee found Jones just outside the point and Oaks' layup finished the 2-on-1 fast break to extend the Trojans' lead to four.
After Robich hit a pair of free throws with 56 seconds remaining to make the score 75-69, Mozee stole a pass in the lane, leading to a three-point play by Jones with 33 seconds left. Barton got as close as seven, but Robich hit two more free throws with 16 seconds left and Oaks pulled down the rebound on a Barton three-point attempt.
Prichard finished with 14 points, while Robich added 13 points and Moore chipped in 12 points. Mount Olive was 21-for-31 from the free throw line, including 18-for-28 in the second half.
Flores led Barton with a game-high 22 points, while Butts and Kendra Thomas added 10 points apiece. After converting 13-of-16 free throws in the first half, Barton went 14-for-24 in the second half.
Jones says the team had to persevere down the stretch in the second half.
"Everybody just played with a lot of heart tonight," said Jones, who reached the 20-point mark for the second time this season. "We just had to keep battling and not let up. Everybody stepped up tonight."
The win marks the Trojans' second win in the last three games on Barton's home floor.
Jones and her teammates will get an extended rest as the Trojans are off until Saturday. Mount Olive plays host to Queens in CVAC action for the Trojans' annual Basketball Church Night. Tip-off is 5 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.
-- MOC sports information
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