02/01/11 — Mount Olive prepares for rival Barton

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Mount Olive prepares for rival Barton

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 1, 2011 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- We meet again.

Archrivals Mount Olive and Barton College, separated by a 40-minute drive down I-795, square off for game two of their "Battle of the East" series Wednesday evening at Kornegay Arena. The women's game tips off at 5:30 p.m. with the men's contest following 20 minutes later.

Admission is $5.

The Trojan men won the first meeting, 71-66, which was part of a 4-0 start. Since then, coach Joey Higginbotham's team has compiled a 6-8 worksheet that includes five losses in Conference Carolinas action.

Point guard Derek Staton scores 18.2 points per game for Mount Olive, which has nearly as many players in street clothes than in uniform on the bench each outing. Brandon Allen contributes 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds, while Ewon Wright supplies nearly 11 points a contest.

Freshman Dory Hines has become a quiet floor leader. The Kinston High alum averages eight points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

Meanwhile, the Dogs haven't had much to bark about this season, either.

Jaren Haley has emerged Barton's top scorer with 15.7 points a game. Bruising forward L.J. Dunn chips in 14.3 points and 9.3 rebounds, while Gerald Boston averages 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.

Dunn has been the Dogs' leading scorer in six games this season, including a 29-point outburst in an overtime win at Armstrong Atlantic State.

MOC has won three straight in the series, and four of five overall since the 2008-09 season.

The Trojan women look to snap their skid against the Dogs. Barton (15-2 overall, 11-0 CC) has won four straight in the series, including a nine-point victory two months ago in Wilson.

Fifth-year senior Jasmine Whitby leads Mount Olive's attack with 17.4 points and grabs 8.6 rebounds a game. Andrea Jones, the reigning Conference Carolinas player-of-the-week, knocks down nearly 16 points an outing.

Senior point guard Shequanta McGee, fully recovered from a preseason freak injury, contributes 9.5 points a game. The Roanoke Rapids native shoots 45 percent from 3-point range.

Brittany Miller, one of seven seniors on the team, hauls down 5.2 boards a contest.

The reigning Conference Carolinas regular-season champion, Barton is led by Jamila Johnson, who scores 13.9 points a game. Janetta Robinson is next at 11.5 points, while Janae Jackson hauls down nearly seven rebounds an outing.

The Dogs' force 27 turnovers a game on defense.

Mount Olive (12-5, 9-2) had its eight-game win streak snapped in a nationally-televised game at Limestone (S.C.) on Saturday. The Trojans rebounded with a road victory Sunday at Lees-McRae.