10/18/11 — MOC Green-White games give coaches perspective

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MOC Green-White games give coaches perspective

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 18, 2011 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- There's plenty of work left to do.

Wendy Lee and Joey Higginbotham shared that sentiment after unveiling their women's and men's basketball teams, respectively, during an exhibition as part of the inaugural "Meet the Mount Olive Coaches Night" held Monday evening on the MOC campus.

Returning starter Alyssa Luebs pumped in a team-leading 14 points as the White squad defeated the Green, 60-45, inside Kornegay Arena. Fellow returning starter Andrea Jones tallied a game-high 15 points for the Green.

"I really felt like Alyssa ran the floor well and really gave us some strong minutes, which we're very encouraged by because we need somebody to step up in our returning class," said Lee. "Andrea was steady as we hoped she'd be, and she hit some big buckets tonight. Overall, it was a great contribution from everybody."

Dory Hines, the reigning Conference Carolinas rookie-of-the-year, collected 16 points in the Green's come-from-behind, 53-44 triumph over the White team in the men's game. Senior Terrell Barrett led three White players in double figures with 12 points.

Each Trojan squad began practice over the weekend.

Lee had just two sessions with her team before the annual exhibition, which usually takes place in late October.

"To go out there and run an offense instead of being out of control is difficult," said Lee. "I thought they really tried to be discipline on the offensive end. When things weren't working, they put it on the floor and tried to create.

"I really liked the transition game that the White team had going. I thought they were running the floor well and getting easy buckets, but that also makes me feel like we've got to improve on defense because the Green team was not stopping the ball at all in transition."

MOC welcomed nine new faces to the program. A trio of those newcomers -- Fayetteville Westover alum Shanice Pringle, junior transfer Khalia Boston at point guard and freshman Gabby Griffin on the perimeter -- saw considerable minutes in the controlled scrimmage.

Returners Jasmine McDonald and Joneiqua Gary contributed 12 points apiece for the White team. Destinee Webb and Pringle added 12 and six points, respectively, for the Green.

The Trojan men welcomed back Craig Hayes and Kason Cheeks, who each received another year of eligibility after sitting out 2010-11. Senior guard Derek Staton, a preseason honorable mention All-American candidate, missed the scrimmage due to a left-foot injury and hopes to return by the end of the week.

"We've got to define roles a little more and I think our defense is ahead of our offense, but both of them have a long way to go," said Higginbotham. "We just need to get better every day. We've got some pieces and being out there without Derek is different, but it may be a blessing right now for some other guys to step up."

The White team held a 25-18 advantage at halftime and built a double-digit lead early in the second half. The Green squad racheted up its physical play, crashed the boards and got Hayes involved in the offense. Hayes scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half.

Freshman Kendall Hargrove knotted the game at 38-38 with a 3-pointer for the White team with about 31/2 minutes to play. Hines took over in transition as the Green answered with a game-deciding 15-6 run.