11/19/11 — 46th annual Pickle Classic -- MOC women drop Chowan U

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46th annual Pickle Classic -- MOC women drop Chowan U

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 19, 2011 11:05 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College started in dominant fashion, but struggled to finish the job Saturday afternoon.

Jasmine McDonald and JUCO transfer Tamara Nesmith each posted a double-double, and helped the Trojan women turn back Chowan University, 73-65, on day two of the 46th annual Pickle Classic.

McDonald pumped in 17 points and hauled down 10 rebounds for the Trojans, who have won all nine meetings against the Braves since 1994. Nesmith contributed 14 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

"They never die," said MOC head coach Wendy Lee. "I've never played against one of Coach (Patrick) Mashuda's teams that quits. Last year, we won at the buzzer at their place. They pressure the ball and that gave us a lot of trouble.

"We didn't shoot the ball well today, no one was hot."

Mount Olive (2-1 overall) raced a 26-7 lead during the first 10 minutes of the game. Energetic on defense and relentless on the boards, the Trojans limited the Hawks to two field goals during that stretch.

Chowan (1-3) switched tactics and extended its defense to three-quarters court. The strategy forced disrupted the Trojans' offense, which led to rushed shots and unforced turnovers.

The Braves pulled within 32-18 at halftime.

Nesmith's conventional three-point play put Mount Olive ahead 35-18 early in the second half. Chowan closed the gap to 40-31 when Talaya Lynch grabbed a weakside offensive rebound, and kissed it off the glass for two of her team-high 20 points that she tallied all in the second half.

"She's good ... a beast," said Lee.

Summer Curtis' offensive putback kept the Braves within striking distance, 48-39, midway through the final half. The Trojans scored seven of the next eight points, including two free throws from Alyssa Luebs, and led 55-40.

Chowan didn't go away.

Lynch continued her hot shooting from the outside. The Braves came up with deflections on defense and Kaira Turner's layup closed the gap to 61-54 after a 3-pointer from Lynch.

"They are one of the best defensive teams we'll play against," said Lee. "They get their hands on the ball, tie up jump balls, get deflections and pressure the ball. They're aggressive and in your face.

"You don't have a free minute to catch your breath."

McDonald's layup, Andrea Jones' 3-pointer off Luebs' assist and McDonald's layup off Luebs' offensive rebound pushed the Trojans back in front 68-57. Chowan wouldn't threaten the rest of the way as Mount Olive improved to 21-17 against Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association opposition since 1994.