Freshmen lead MOC women to victory
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 5, 2010 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- The freshmen answered the call.
Andrea Jones pumped in a career-high 17 points off the bench and Alyssa Luebs provided her second consecutive double-double in Mount Olive's 69-46 triumph over in-state rival Belmont Abbey on Monday evening.
Luebs collected 11 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for the Trojans, who improved to 4-4 overall and 3-0 against Conference Carolinas opposition this season. Mount Olive claimed its second straight victory over Belmont Abbey and sixth overall in 10 meetings since the 2006 season.
Jones connected on six of her first nine field goal attempts and ended the game 7 of 12 from the floor. The 5-foot-8 guard played 27 minutes and provided quality minutes in a depleted backcourt due to off-court issues.
"I think I got a feel for the game (tonight)," said Jones.
Especially in the second half.
Jones drained two 3-pointers during a 10-3 to give Mount Olive a double-digit advantage, 54-43, with seven-plus minutes remaining in regulation. Courtney Naquin's basket trimmed the margin to single digits, but Belmont Abbey converted just one free throw the rest of the game.
The Trojans forced turnovers on six of the Crusaders' next eight possessions and Jones broke her career-best scoring total with a fast-break layup after a steal near midcourt. Mount Olive led 62-45 at that point.
"I was motivated on defense and brought it on offense, too," said Jones. "Coach (Wendy) Lee told us we had to step it up in the second half, get the box outs (on rebounds) and play focused on offense. We got the defense down pat, got the offense flowing and executed."
Lee gushed over Jones' performance.
"I am very proud of her," said Lee. "The thing I noticed most about her game, besides the fact she hit some big shots, she looked confident and comfortable the entire game. She didn't doubt the moves she made or shots she took, and that's a huge step in the right direction.
"She's got the tools, but had been questioning things about her game."
Luebs secured her double-double with an old-fashioned three-point play in the final half minute. The 6-foot forward from Havelock pulled down a game-high 11 defensive boards, blocked two shots and picked the Crusaders for three steals in 34 minutes.
Senior forward Helen Moore provided 16 points and seven rebounds, while guard Laporsha Davis supplied 12 points, five steals and four assists. Shequanta McGee dished out eight assists.
Belmont Abbey (3-5,1-2 CC) seized a six-point advantage in the opening stages of the game. Davis' offensive putback knotted the contest at 17-17 and the teams battled through five lead changes until Mount Olive grabbed a 31-30 advantage at halftime.