MOC women struggle with free throw shooting
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 22, 2008 1:49 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- One glance at the box score reveals the painful truth behind Mount Olive's women's 67-63 home loss to Conference Carolinas opponent Belmont Abbey on Monday afternoon.
The Trojans shot less than 40 percent from the floor, went 2 for 15 from beyond the arc and the most telling statistic was a 15 for 28 performance from the free throw line.
"It's one of those things that we keep revisiting every time we come up with a (loss) in the column," Trojans assistant coach Aisha Bryant said. "It's kind of evident what's going to happen when you get in a close game like we were in today. You've got to do almost everything correct in order to pull out a win in a close game."
Mount Olive (8-8 overall, 6-3 CC) trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half before mounting a late charge. Senior guard Lakeisha Monroe provided the Trojans with quality minutes off the bench, fearlessly driving the ball to the basket in tallying 14 points, five assists and five steals in 36 minutes.
Monroe's free throws with less than 13 minutes to play pulled Mount Olive to within 10 at 46-36.
"We need more people who are going to go into the game and be a spark off the bench," Bryant said. "Lakeisha has done a good job for us the whole year of being consistent. We need that type of 'go get it' attitude out of every one of our players."
Marie Marquez pushed the lead back to 11 with a pair of free throws with less than three minutes to play. The Trojans answered with a 3 from Shequanta McGee, back-to-back layups from Helen Moore and a layup from Monroe.
With just over 30 seconds play the deficit had shrunk to 63-61. But, Marquez and Emma Camp both calmly sank two free throws each as the Crusaders (12-4, 8-2 CC) held on for the win.
N.C. State women's head coach Kay Yow was in attendance to support her sister and Belmont Abbey head coach Susan Yow.
Marquez seemed to score at will, particularly during the second half in which she scored 16 of her game-high 28 points. She consistently got to the basket off of dribble penetration, which forced the Trojans to try numerous different defenses.
"Marquez, you could see it in her face and you could hear her on the floor, she's got that kind of killer instinct that energizes the rest of team," Bryant said. "We've got to have that type of attitude when we come into a game like this one."
Meanwhile, Mount Olive struggled to find an offensive rhythm all afternoon. Despite holding an advantage in turnovers, rebounds, steals and blocks, the Trojans missed numerous layups and failed to knock down countless quality looks from the perimeter.
"We've got shooters," Bryant said. "We've got Tomeka Prichard and Brittney Robich and Lakeisha Monroe now and again throws in a couple 3's for us. We've got to buckle down and get good at the things we do. If I'm a shooter I've got to be able to hit my shots."
Moore matched Monroe's team-high 14 points and Keona Corley added nine. The loss snapped the Trojans' three-game win streak with archrival Barton College lurking on the horizon.
"I think we're on the right track," Bryant said. "Obstacles only come into play when we take our eyes off of our goal. Today, maybe we took a glance away from it, but we're still on the right track. We're going to knock down free throws and be alright for Thursday."
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