01/18/11 — MOC downs Belmont Abbey women

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MOC downs Belmont Abbey women

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 18, 2011 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive didn't surprise Belmont Abbey with anything it did on the court Monday afternoon.

The Trojans were just better -- especially on defense.

Mount Olive held the Crusaders to 32-percent shooting from the floor and claimed a 59-45 victory inside Kornegay Arena. The Trojans (9-4 overall) extended their win streak to five games and improved to 6-1 against Conference Carolinas opposition this season.

"We knew we had to defend to beat Belmont," said MOC head coach Wendy Lee. "We really stuck to our game plan and didn't try to change a lot, but we did focus the group's attention on the fact they have a really tremendous inside player in Shayla Jackson.

"They will go to her because that's where they're most comfortable going."

Jackson managed just 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting. The senior faced constant triple teams underneath the basket, and at times, shied away from showing for the ball on offense.

The Crusaders started four freshmen and committed 22 turnovers.

"I think their attack, their game plan and just their physicality was the difference in the ballgame," said Belmont Abbey head coach Susan Yow. "We did not run offense at all today. None of our shots came from our offense."

Mount Olive started hot.

Laporsha Davis, who recorded a double-double along with Jasmine Whitby, converted the Trojans' first shot. Davis finished with 15 points and a career-best 12 rebounds after hitting just one 3-pointer against Coker on Saturday.

Davis dished out a couple of assists during the Trojans' early 13-2 run.

"I was mainly trying to focus on rebounding and defense, so I wasn't too worried about scoring too many buckets," said Davis, who handed out six assists. "I was just worried about getting my team the ball, rebounding and defending, which is what Coach (Lee) has been stressing the most to us in practice."

Belmont Abbey (5-8, 4-3 CC) closed the gap to 13-11 and Yow felt her team would settle down after MOC's torrid offensive start.

It didn't happen.

Whitby's 3-pointer ignited a back-breaking 22-6 run that pushed the Trojans ahead 35-17 just before halftime. Andrea Jones nailed three 3-pointers and converted a conventional three-point play during the stretch. Whitby would emerge the Trojans' offensive leader (19 points) and top rebounder (14) for her seventh double-double of the season.

The Crusaders, who have lost four straight games in the series, pulled within 11 points late in the second half. Alyssa Luebs' old-fashioned, three-point play halted a 9-2 run.

Belmont managed just one 3-pointer and two free throws the final four minutes of the game.

"I thought we put up a good fight in the second half," said Yow. "We just didn't die down, which I was really pleased with and I think that helps you for the next game. We just got beat by a better team today."