01/21/10 — Trojan women face tough test tonight

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Trojan women face tough test tonight

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 21, 2010 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Be at your best.

Wendy Lee stresses that message each day in practice and each time her Mount Olive College women's basketball team takes the court for a game this season.

The Trojans can expect to hear the reminder again today when archrival Barton College invades Kornegay Arena in Conference Carolinas action. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs lead the series 19-6 since 1999, but the Trojans have won four of the last six meetings. Barton (8-5 overall) enters the contest tied with Anderson for the league lead at 7-1, while Mount Olive (6-7) is 5-3 against conference opposition.

"They'll be good on the boards and good off the dribble like Queens, so it will be a tough assignment," said Lee. "When you miss block outs and assignments like we did (against Queens), that's not being at your best. You have to be at your very best every game we play right now, especially being short-manned to win against a good team.

"We've got to be mentally and physically prepared."

Senior guard Esty Flores leads the Barton offense with 16.9 points and nearly five assists per game. Junior guard Jamila Johnson averages 13.3 points and sophomore guard Janetta Robinson scores 9.3.

The Dogs average 76.2 points and allow 69.8.

Mount Olive, which has experienced injuries and other maladies this season, has struggled to find consistent offense. Senior forward Helen Moore collects nearly 16 points per game and senior guard Shequanta McGee averages 11.5.

Laporsha Davis and Andrea Jones score eight per game.

But the offensive production drops off after that.

"We're missing offense ... key players who give us offense," said Lee. "We're playing players in the lineup who wouldn't be there if it wasn't for other circumstances and injuries. We count on other players to score and we don't get it every night.

"Everyone is trying and it's not from a lack of effort. Other teams are just further along right now than we are."

Queens out-rebounded MOC 50-20, and owned decisive scoring edges in offensive putbacks and points in the paint on Monday. The Royals rallied from a 12-point, first-half deficit and held the Trojans scoreless for the first 10 minutes of the second half.

MOC never responded.

"When we started getting the bumps and had somebody jump over our backs to get the rebound, we didn't respond," said Lee. "We were thinking blocking out, but we didn't put it in action. We didn't respond with the kind of punch I thought we would and I think it came from their physicality.

"We're going to be okay. I'm not panicking. I just feel like we've got a lot of growing up to do, got to get tougher and continue to get better."