01/08/10 — Pfeiffer thwarts MOC comeback

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Pfeiffer thwarts MOC comeback

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 8, 2010 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive's women made a furious, scrappy and spirited comeback on Thursday evening.

However, the Trojans' effort over the final two minutes left a lot to be desired. Pfeiffer outscored Mount Olive 8-2 in the final 120 seconds and walked out of Kornegay Arena with a 74-68 Conference Carolinas win.

The Trojans erased a 14-point first-half deficit and tied the game on five different occasions in the second half. Mount Olive briefly took its first lead of the ballgame at 42-41 on Meaghan Vanderhorst's transition layup with fewer than four minutes gone in the second half.

Pfeiffer took the lead right back on Kellie Rhoney's free throws and held the advantage until Helen Moore's layup tied the score at 46-46. Shequanta McGee's 3-pointer with fewer than six minutes to play gave the Trojans a 62-61 advantage.

McGee finished with a career-high 24 points.

"When some of our other scorers aren't scoring, that's when I feel like I have to step up," said McGee. "They were doing a good job on Helen, but she stepped it up in the second half."

Laporsha Davis' free throws with a little more than two minutes to play tied the game at 66-66. Rhoney's layup with fewer than two minutes to play gave the Falcons the lead for good at 68-66.

Domonique China's free throws extended the cushion to 70-66. Six of Pfeiffer's final eight points came from the free throw line.

"I don't think we felt like we were ever in control of the game," said Mount Olive head coach Wendy Lee. "Even when we tied the game with two minutes left."

The Trojans (4-5 overall, 3-1 CC) struggled with getting back down the floor defensively following turnovers and missed shots throughout most of the first half. The Falcons capitalized with easy layups and knocked down jump shots.

Pfeiffer (3-5, 3-1) opened up a 25-15 lead on Celeste Caudill's 3-pointer and took its biggest lead of the half , 31-17, on Brittany Cox's 3-pointer.

The Trojans also battled foul trouble in the first half as forwards Moore and Rashonda Speed both picked up three fouls. Davis and McGee were both saddled with two first-half fouls.

Having six players in street clothes including starters Brittany Miller and Monye Fauntleroy hurt Mount Olive's cause.

"I think the tempo they forced and the transition game they ran early and their aggression on the boards was definitely something that got in our heads," said Lee. "We had six players in dress clothes today. You take away some key players who can bring some offense and can handle some of that pressure and make adjustments in the middle of a game."

The Trojans responded with 12 unanswered points that were capped by freshman Andrea Jones' 3-pointer that trimmed the margin to 31-29. Mount Olive stayed with a basket the remainder of the half and trailed 36-34 at the break.

Moore added 14 points, Jones provided 13 points and Davis had 11.

The Trojans entertain defending league champion Anderson at 2 p.m. on Saturday.