By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 3, 2011 1:47 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- With its starting point guard in street clothes and its leading scorer in foul trouble, the Mount Olive College women's basketball team found itself at the mercy of a bitter rival and conference leader on Wednesday night..
Barton outscored the Trojans 33-20 down the stretch and cruised to a 90-66, Conference Carolinas victory inside Kornegay Arena. The Bulldogs' 90 points were the largest output by a Mount Olive opponent this season.
Janae Jackson's 24 points led five Barton players in double figures. Nyesha Willie provided 18 points and Jamila Johnson supplied 17.
"I felt like Barton took advantage of a lot of opportunities," said Trojans' head coach Wendy Lee. "I felt like they found gaps and did things off the dribble. They also ran the floor well and took advantage of easy opportunities."
After falling behind 53-37 with more than 15 minutes to play, Mount Olive pulled to within 57-46 on Alyssa Lueb's free throw. Barton answered with three baskets from Jackson to push the margin to 63-47.
The Bulldogs' lead grew to 45-31 early in the second half on Willie's 3-pointer and Jackson's layup.
The Trojans' comeback hopes to took a major hit as senior and leading scorer Jasmine Whitby picked up her fourth foul with 12 minutes left in the ballgame. Whitby scored 14 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 26. Jessica Nelms had 13 points.
Mount Olive played without starting point guard Shequanta McGee, who suffered a concussion in last Sunday's win at Lees-McRae.
"I think it was an accumulation of so many missed opportunities time and time again in the first half and the second half," said Lee. "I think it built up a mental barrier for us to break through. We didn't recover from the shots that didn't go in.
"Without Shequanta we have a lot less structure and a lot less leadership. We need that kind of presence against a team that pressures as much as Barton does."
Mount Olive failed to convert on several scoring opportunities throughout the ballgame as point-blank layups and wide-open jump shots wouldn't fall. The Trojans were just 26 of 72 from the floor and shot 36 percent.
Barton closed the first half on a 12-2 run turning a 29-28 deficit into a 40-31 halftime lead. Mount Olive committed 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and finished with 26.
The Trojans (12-6 overall, 9-3 CC) continue conference play at Converse on Saturday.
"We'll move past this and be able to respond," said Lee. "Well get back after it we've just got to refocus on the next game. We'll regroup and realize this isn't the last game of the season and probably not the last time we'll see Barton if we can get that match-up in the conference tournament."
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