02/25/07 — Mount Olive women upset Anderson

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Mount Olive women upset Anderson

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 25, 2007 2:14 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Anderson University's previous trip to Mount Olive College resulted in a conference tournament championship and automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA Division II women's basketball playoffs.

The return visit wasn't as pleasant.

Brittney Robich silenced a second-half rally with back-to-back 3-pointers and Mount Olive College upset No. 21-ranked Anderson 68-56 on Saturday afternoon at Kornegay Arena. The host Trojans posted their first-ever triumph over a nationally-ranked opponent during the Division II era.

Mount Olive claimed its second victory over a regional-ranked foe in a 12-day stretch. Anderson entered the game ranked No. 3 in the latest East Region poll. The Trojans stunned archrival Barton College, a top-five team and national vote-getter at the time, on the road Feb. 12.

Avenging a two-point defeat at Anderson more than a month ago and sending Tilah Worthy -- MOC's lone senior -- out a winner provided the Trojans' main inspiration. Worthy grabbed two rebounds and picked Anderson for a steal in eight minutes of action.

"We had our heads right and we wanted a win, especially for Tilah with this being her last home game," said MOC freshman forward Helen Moore. "We were just tired of losing, so we stepped it up."

Mount Olive (15-12 overall) beat Anderson at home for the first time since Feb. 2, 2002 and snapped a six-game losing streak in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference series.

Early defensive stops and a 12-0 run proved crucial for Mount Olive in the opening half. Anderson led 4-0 just 33 seconds into the contest before Robich hit back-to-back jumpers to force a 4-4 deadlock.

Moore tallied a layup off Keona Corley's steal and assist, and collected two consecutive offensive putbacks. Sierra Medeiros layup, off another Corley assist, gave Lawrence's team a 12-4 advantage.

"We were able to build some confidence because of our defense and I think it got into Anderson's heads," said Lawrence. "They were forcing shots that weren't there because we had some good pressure."

Moore, Robich, Corley and Medeiros combined for six field goals during a six-minute stretch as Mount Olive extended its lead to 25-13. Anderson pulled within 33-22 on Mikala Fogle-Wilson's field goal, but couldn't get any closer.

Robich banked in an NBA-range 3-pointer as the half expired.

Anderson (21-6, 15-5 CVAC) committed back-to-back turnovers to start the second half and Mount Olive boosted its advantage to 41-24. The double-digit cushion slowly dwindled to a single possession as Anderson senior Deidra Langston, a CVAC player-of-the-year candidate, got into the scoring act.

The 5-foot-10 power forward supplied 12 of Anderson's 22 points as the visitors climbed within 49-46 with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation. Moore and her teammates couldn't prevent Langston (20 points, 15 rebounds) from getting loose in the paint for mid-range shots.

"I knew I needed to step my defense up," said a grinning Moore. "She's a very good player. We all knew she was going to score and play her game, we just tried not to think about their team and what they were doing."

Once Mount Olive regained some composure when Robich banged home the consecutive 3-pointers. Robich finished with 20 points, one point shy of her career high set in a home loss against Barton on Jan. 18.

Corley's layup increased Mount Olive's lead to 57-48.

Fogle-Wilson drained a 3-pointer off Latrice Thomas' assist and Anderson trailed 57-51 with 3:37 left in regulation. The visitors began fouling at that point and Mount Olive, the CVAC's worst-shooting free throw team at 51.1 percent, successfully converted 7 of 10 tries during a 2 1/2-minute span.

Moore recorded a double-double -- 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Corley contributed 12 points, nine assists and four steals in 30 minutes. Medeiros provided 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the floor, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

Mount Olive concluded CVAC play 11-9 and visits in-state rival St. Andrews in a quarterfinal-round tournament game next Wednesday.

ANDERSON (21-6, 15-5)

Genia Holbrook 2 0 1-2 5, Deidra Langston 8 0 4-6 20, Latrice Thomas 1 0 0-0 2, Keana Boyd 3 0 0-0 6, Mikala Fogle-Wilson 2 3 2-2 15, Kim Hausman 0 0 0-0 0, Shanice Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Shadae Thompson 1 0 4-6 6, Haley Riffle 0 0 0-0 0, Kimberly Williams 0 0 2-2 2. TOTALS -- 17 3 13-18 56.

MOUNT OLIVE (15-12, 11-9)

Helen Moore 8 0 0-4 16, Sierra Medeiros 6 0 1-2 13, Tomeka Prichard 0 0 0-0 0, Keona Corley 4 0 4-7 12, Brittney Robich 3 4 2-5 20, Jill Oaks 0 0 0-0 0, Keshaun Mozee 0 0 0-0 0, Tilah Worthy 0 0 0-0 0, Alisa Jones 3 0 1-2 7. TOTALS -- 24 4 8-20 68.

Halftime -- Mount Olive 38-24. 3-point goals -- MOC 4-11, Anderson 3-15. Rebounds -- MOC 47 (Moore 13), Anderson 46 (Langston 15). Assists -- MOC 19 (Corley 9), Anderson 12 (Thomas 4), Turnovers -- MOC 22, Anderson 18. Blocked shots -- MOC 4, Anderson 2. Steals -- MOC 10 (Corley 4), Anderson 13 (Langston 5). A -- 375.