02/17/09 — Trojans' winning streak snapped

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Trojans' winning streak snapped

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 17, 2009 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- All good things must come to an end.

Mount Olive's school-record, 14-game winning streak came to a screeching halt on Monday night with a stunning 75-56 loss to in-state rival Belmont Abbey.

The Crusaders dominated the glass and held the Trojans in check with high-flying interior defense.

"It was one of those nights where everything that could go wrong did," said MOC head coach Wendy Lee. "We couldn't find any rhythm on offense and once we got behind it only got worse."

Decked in all pink uniforms with the last name "Kay" on the back, the Crusaders took the floor at Kornegay Arena with renewed vigor.

The loss of Hall-of-fame women's basketball coach Kay Yow at N.C. State was felt with resounding force within the Belmont Abbey program. Yow's sister Susan is currently the Crusaders' head coach.

As a tribute to the former Wolfpack legend, Monday's game was played as part of the WBCA Pink Zone week and proceeds from the contest will be donated to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.

"We wanted to be a part of something special with the pink night," said Lee. "It was a special night, just not a special performance. Coach Yow meant so much to women's basketball, and I have a lot of respect for Susan and her program as well."

The Crusaders were not intimidated by the league-leading Trojans or their home court in the first half. Belmont Abbey built a 39-19 lead with ball movement that shattered the MOC zone and by winning the battle in the rebounding department.

Eight different Crusaders scored and grabbed at least one rebound in the opening half. The visitors held a 25-19 rebounding edge and a 13-3 lead in assists. Meanwhile, Mount Olive struggled on offense and shot just 24 percent from the field.

Those factors combined to hand the Trojans their largest halftime deficit of the season.

"We need to use tonight as a lesson and refocus," said Lee. "Our girls gave an effort, but I really can't point to any single player that played well."

The second half was much like the first as Belmont Abbey poured it on offensively. The Crusaders led by as many as 30 points before the Trojan reserves closed the gap in the final two minutes.

Jasmine Whitby and Shequanta McGee paced the Trojan attack with 12 points apiece. Tomeka Prichard added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Belmont Abbey (17-7 overall, 15-4 CC) was led by Courtney Naquin's 14-point effort. Asha Hardaway and Ashley Giddens each added 12 points. Shayla Jackson finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Mount Olive (20-4, 16-3 CC) plays host to Erskine on Saturday. Tip-off is 5 p.m.