01/27/08 — Royal Flush Part II: MOC women crush Queens

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Royal Flush Part II: MOC women crush Queens

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 27, 2008 2:02 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Coming off an emotional victory over archrival Barton College, one had to wonder if Mount Olive College might experience a letdown Saturday afternoon.

It didn't happen.

Aggressive from the opening tip, the Trojan women played stellar defense and left Queens University staring at an 11-point deficit less than five minutes into the Conference Carolinas contest. Tomeka Prichard poured in 11 of her 22 points during that stretch as Mount Olive cruised to an 85-59 victory at Kornegay Arena.

The Trojans (10-8 overall, 8-3 CC) swept the regular-season series from the Royals for the second time in the past three years. Queens departed 4-13 overall and 4-6 against league opposition.

"It was teamwork," Mount Olive sophomore Helen Moore said of the fast start. "We just wanted to play with a lot of heart and determination. We executed plays and just listened to everything our coaches were saying.

"We did the little things and our defense caused a lot of turnovers."

Mount Olive limited Queens to eight field goals during a 17-minute span in the opening half. The Trojans parlayed 18 turnovers into 29 points and led 49-16 with 2:46 remaining before halftime.

After Prichard added a basket at the 14:46 mark, Moore got into the scoring act. The sophomore from Kenly, who pumped in a team-high 26 points, drained a layup off a turnover and converted back-to-back, old-fashioned three-point plays.

Moore shot 70 percent (7 of 10) from the floor in the first half and 65 percent (11 of 17) for the game. The former North Johnston standout pulled down five rebounds, dished out four assists and picked the Royals for two steals in 30 minutes of action.

"I worked to get open, my teammates looked for me and I tried to finish the easy shots," said a modest Moore. "We all worked together. If I couldn't make it (the shot) in the post, I kicked it out to the guards on the wing, and they knocked it down."

Queens, however, responded with an 11-0 run to end the half.

The Royals found an offensive rhythm after intermission and outscored the Trojans 16-10 in the first eight minutes. Jazmine Edwards' short jumper off Cecilia Tchangoue's assist closed the gap to 60-43 with 11:17 to go.

"They went in and made some good adjustments at halftime," said Mount Olive coach Wendy Lee of the Royals. "They took advantage of our denial and pressure, and got some layup opportunities early, so it looked a little one-sided.

"That gave them some momentum and confidence."

The teams traded baskets until Prichard drained consecutive 3-pointers off assists from Sierra Medeiros and Lakeisha Monroe. Queens pulled within 17 again a few minutes later.

Mount Olive answered with an 8-0 run which included scores from Keona Corley, Monroe, Moore and Brittney Robich. Robich contributed 11 points off the bench, while Monroe supplied nine points and five assists.

"We did some things to get us back into gear," said Lee. "When you get a lead like that early, it's never easy to maintain that type of play for 40 minutes. The kids responded at the right times and didn't allow Queens' effort and intensity to overpower us."