02/24/08 — MOC women win on senior night

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MOC women win on senior night

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 24, 2008 3:02 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- In her final regular-season home game, with her best friend since middle school, Lakeisha Monroe wanted to make sure she had a senior night to remember.

She did.

Monroe scored 24 points, dished out seven assists and had four steals to guide Mount Olive's women to a 73-61 victory over Conference Carolinas foe Limestone on Saturday at Kornegay Arena.

Keona Corley, Monroe's best friend and backcourt mate, added 18 points as the Trojans won their fourth straight game and eighth overall in their last nine tries. The opportunity to play with Corley made Monroe's decision to transfer from Georgia State one that required little thought.

"I just wanted to put on a show and win for my teammates, and my fellow seniors," Monroe said. "It wasn't just about me, it was about everybody here. Keona and I have known each other since middle school and we've been playing together since high school.

"My entire decision was based on coming here and playing with my best friend."

Monroe scored 13 of her 24 points in the second half and seemed to possess the ability to know when her team needed a big play. Her four steals were part of Limestone's 24 turnovers, and her seven assists led to Mount Olive's total of 16.

"I got help from my coaches," Monroe said. "They always let me know when we need a stop or we need to pick it up on defense or when we need to score."

The Trojans (17-9 overall, 15-4 CC) sealed up their interior defense in the second half, limiting Limestone center Monica Adams to just five points after halftime. Adams frequently out-muscled Mount Olive defenders in the first half, scoring eight points and grabbing three rebounds. The Saints (14-14, 9-9) scored just 21 of their 61 points in the paint.

"I felt like Limestone was very physical with us and it was really a game where it was never done for either team," Trojans head coach Wendy Lee said. "I thought Sierra Medeiros really came in and added some physical play and got between (Adams) and the basket when we did get caught behind her.

"She forced Adams to take some tough shots with her defense instead of her just having wide open layups like she got in the first half."

After falling behind by 10 early in the second half, Limestone cut the lead to six with more than 10 minutes to play. Mount Olive responded with a 6-0 run to stretch the margin back to 12. The Saints got no closer than eight the rest of way.

Forward Helen Moore contributed 17 points for the Trojans and pulled down a team-high 16 rebounds.

Mount Olive appeared to take control in the first half after a 10-0 run put the Trojans in front 18-8. Behind Adams' eight first half points and a 70 percent performance from the free throw line as a team Limestone climbed to within 33-29 at the half. Adams led the Saints with 13 points.

Mount Olive concludes regular-season play Friday at archrival Barton. The Trojans downed the Bulldogs 99-86 in late January at Kornegay Arena. Barton currently trails Mount Olive by a game for second place in the conference standings.