02/15/08 — Number 16-ranked Mount Olive dominates Cobras in second half

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Number 16-ranked Mount Olive dominates Cobras in second half

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 15, 2008 2:43 PM

HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Kendrick Easley poured in 24 points and sparked a second-half run as No. 16-ranked Mount Olive rallied past Coker (S.C.) College 81-65 on Thursday evening.

The Trojans (19-4 overall) earned their fifth consecutive win and remained atop the Conference Carolina standings at 14-2.

Coker shot a blistering 61 percent in the opening half and built an 11-point lead. Easley spearheaded a 9-1 run as Mount Olive closed the gap to 39-36 at halftime.

The Cobras (8-15, 6-10) owned a five-point lead when Easley drained a 3-pointer and Mike Holloman turned a steal into a breakaway, one-handed slam dunk. That tied the game at 43-43.

After a defensive stop, Justin Melton drew a foul with 15:12 remaining and sank both free throws to give the Trojans their first lead of the game. The teams traded leads over the next few minutes until Melton's basket put Mount Olive ahead for good at 65-64.

Coker stayed within striking distance for a couple of possessions. The Trojans, however, manufactured a game-clinching 18-1 run to complete the regular-season sweep.

Mount Olive's Craig Hayes matched a career high with 17 points and shared game-high honors with Shaughnnon Washum with eight rebounds. Melton finished with nine points and four assists, while Elting added eight points.

Trojan women roll

HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Senior guard Lakeisha Monroe pumped in a game-high 20 points as Mount Olive hammered Coker (S.C.) College 83-54 on Thursday evening.

The Trojan women (14-9 overall) prevailed for the ninth time in their last 11 outings, and seized sole possession of second place in Conference Carolinas play at 12-4. Coach Wendy Lee's team matched the single-season, school record for conference victories, which was set during the 1995-96 season after Mount Olive moved from NAIA status to Division II.

Helen Moore scored 10 of her 12 points in the first half and also pulled down seven rebounds for Mount Olive. Senior point guard Keona Corley and Shequanta McGee added 10 points apiece.

Alisa Jones led all players with 11 rebounds. Jones, Corley and McGee recorded four steals apiece.

Monroe's 3-pointer and fast-break layup off a steal ignited a 15-2, first-half run. The Trojans continued to extend their lead and owned a decisive 39-19 advantage at intermission. Mount Olive turned 17 Coker turnovers into 16 points.

The Trojans scored the first two baskets of the second half. Temeca Spain triggered a Coker run with a three-point play and Helen Koponen's basket with 14:15 remaining drew the Cobras (5-18, 4-12) within 49-36, the closest margin since the first six minutes of the game.