02/27/09 — Mount Olive women can't match BC intensity

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Mount Olive women can't match BC intensity

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 27, 2009 1:46 PM

WILSON -- The effort didn't come close to matching what was at stake.

Mount Olive's women fell behind 31-10 less than 10 minutes into the game and never recovered in a 79-45 blowout loss to archrival Barton College on Thursday evening.

The Bulldogs clinched the Conference Carolinas regular-season championship and No. 1 seed for the league tournament. The Trojans, who have lost three of their last four outings, received an opening-round bye and will play at home Tuesday.

Barton scored the first seven points of the ballgame while Mount Olive committed turnovers on three of its first four possessions.

Blair Burke's 3-pointer stretched the Bulldogs' advantage to 19-3 less than six minutes into the game. Anita Fenner's layup pushed the margin to 31-10 before the first half was 10 minutes old.

"We were pumped up for the game and it seemed like we were hitting everything there for a while," said Barton head coach Wendee Saintsing. "We jumped on them quick and we never let them up."

The Trojans had 13 turnovers in the first 10 minutes and finished with 17 in the first half. The Bulldogs scored 20 first-half points off those miscues.

"I thought we were mentally excited and I thought we understood what the challenge was," said Mount Olive head coach Wendy Lee. "I'm not sure why (the turnovers) happened. I did not anticipate us turning the ball over the way we did. I think some of our key players tonight just did not step up.

"I really anticipated some of our upperclassmen stepping up and I think we just got shell shocked."

Barton junior guard Estes Flores torched the Trojans for 17 of her game-high 24 points in the first half. The Bulldogs closed the half on a 19-8 run and led 48-18 at the break.

Mount Olive (21-6 overall, 17-5 CC) made one last push with an 8-2 run to start the second half, but an 18-for-61 shooting performance for the game plagued the Trojans' comeback attempt. Helen Moore led the Trojans with 13 points and six rebounds. Jasmine Whitby added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Mount Olive has four days to recover before entertaining either Limestone or Lees-McRae in quarterfinal-round play Tuesday. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.

"We don't want to dwell on it but we definitely don't want to forget it," said Lee. "If we can play through the tournament mad or ticked off at ourselves or whatever it takes then maybe this can serve some sort of positive purpose. If not, we'll be done.

"We'll know Tuesday how we respond."