03/07/08 — Monroe, Moore harass Bulldogs

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Monroe, Moore harass Bulldogs

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on March 7, 2008 2:40 PM

WILSON -- Senior guard Lakeisha Monroe led four players in double figures with a game-high 21 points as Mount Olive upset archrival Barton 74-71 in their semifinal-round, Conference Carolinas tournament game Thursday evening.

The third-seeded Trojans (19-10 overall) travel to face top-seeded and No. 12-ranked Anderson (S.C.) University in the title game Saturday. The winner earns the an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Regional. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

Mount Olive is making its first-ever appearance in a conference tournament championship during the program's Division II history. The Trojans made back-to-back trips to the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference finals in 1993 and '94, according to archives kept by the league office.

Barton, which had its 10-game win streak snapped, concluded the 19-8 and will likely miss the postseason for the first time in three years.

The Bulldogs tallied the game's first 10 points and eventually built a 17-point margin late in the first half. Monroe's 3-pointer pulled the Trojans within 10 until Barton hit two free throws for a 48-36 advantage at intermission.

Tomeka Prichard's 3-pointer shaved the Dogs' lead to 50-43 with 16:27 left in the second half. Sophomore Helen Moore accounted for six of the next eight points as the Trojans climbed within 54-53 less than five minutes later.

Barton failed to convert a field goal during a five-minute span, but kept its lead with an 8-for-10 effort at the free throw line. Mount Olive pecked away at the deficit and took its first lead, 63-62, on Prichard's 3-pointer with four-plus minutes left in regulation.

The teams traded the lead twice until Prichard, who scored 14 points, buried her third 3-pointer of the contest. Sara Fleming's bank shot pulled the Dogs within 70-69.

Mount Olive hit enough free throws down the stretch to prevent Barton from reaching the tournament final for the third consecutive year. It marked the Trojans' second victory against the Dogs this season and just the fifth overall in the series since 1998-99.

Moore, who drained the final free throw with 1.4 seconds left, collected 16 points and snared nine boards. Point guard Keona Corley contributed 10 points and nine assists.

Barton Sports Information