02/22/09 — MOC women drop second straight

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MOC women drop second straight

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 22, 2009 2:00 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Riding the momentum of a school-record, 14-game winning streak just seven days ago, the Mount Olive College women's basketball team is headed in an opposite -- and unacceptable -- direction.

The Trojans have lost two games in a row.

Point guard Porsha Morgan pumped in 15 points and dished out eight assists as Erskine (S.C.) College upset Mount Olive 74-65 and spoiled a senior day celebration at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans, ranked No. 8 in the latest Southeast Region poll, suffered back-to-back home defeats for the first time this season.

The Flying Fleet (15-10) improved to 11-9 against Conference Carolina opposition this season and snapped a five-game losing streak against the Trojans.

"It's hard to say what exactly happened until I go back and watch the tape," said ninth-year MOC head coach Wendy Lee. "I feel like we are out of synch right now ... no chemistry and get anything fluid going on the offensive end."

Erskine constantly disrupted Mount Olive's offense Saturday afternoon.

Utilizing a full-court press to slow the Trojans' momentum and dropping back in an active 2-3 zone, the Flying Fleet controlled the tempo in the opening half. Mount Olive converted just three field goals during a 12-minute stretch and fell behind by as many as 16 points.

Erskine got loose for numerous back-door layups, hustled after every loose ball and rebounded well. The Flying Fleet parlayed 12 Trojan turnovers into 11 first-half points and collected five steals.

"I think they finally decided they wanted to play with heart and passion ... things we have been talking about all year." said Erskine head coach Jessica Ridgill. "I gave them a game plan and they were disciplined enough to stick to it the entire game. That attributed to this big victory."

The Flying Fleet kept their double-digit advantage the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Jasmine Whitby's steal started a 15-5 run that electrified a standing-room-only Church Night crowd. Shequanta McGee scored five points, senior Tomeka Prichard drained two 3-pointers and Brittany Miller added a layup off Prichard's assist during that stretch.

Mount Olive trailed 64-62 with 5 minutes to go in regulation.

Erskine responded with a game-clinching 10-3 run and claimed its first win on the Trojans' homecourt since 2006.

Prichard, the Trojans' all-time leading scorer, poured in a game-high 18 points. Whitby finished with a double-double -- 14 points, 12 rebounds. McGee and Brittney Robich added 12 points apiece. It was the final regular-season home game for Prichard, Robich, LaTara Wade and Alisa Jones -- four seniors who have combined for a career-best 72 wins at MOC.

The Trojans continue conference play at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at Queens.