01/26/12 — MOC women defeat Queens University

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MOC women defeat Queens University

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 26, 2012 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE - Following its first Conference Carolinas loss of the season, Mount Olive's women needed to respond with a big-time effort.

What the Trojans delivered for the majority of 40 minutes was anything but big time. They shot 32 percent from the floor and committed 21 turnovers, but hung on to defeat Eastern Division rival Queens University, 58-57, inside Kornegay Arena on Wednesday evening.

"We're looking for some leadership and for some players to step and really challenge each other to bring it," Mount Olive head coach Wendy Lee said. "Right now it's crunch time and we've got to bring it every night. I think it helped us tonight secure a win, but it needs to be for 40 minutes."

The Trojans struggled offensively for the better part of the first half.

Turnovers and missed shots plagued Mount Olive, which scored just five points in the first 11 minutes. Lee's team shot just 11 of 37 from the floor and finished with nine miscues in the opening half.

"I don't know where the intensity in the first half was," Lee said.

The Trojans scored 14 of the final 18 points of the first half to cut the deficit to 27-25 after Queens built a 19-7 advantage. Mount Olive took its first lead of the game at 30-27 on Jasmine McDonald's 3-pointer fewer than 60 seconds into the second half.

The Trojans (13-4, 7-1 CC) turned up the intensity on the defensive end and began forcing turnovers and contested shots. The result was better possessions and quality shots offensively. McDonald's 3-point play off a Royals' turnover pushed Mount Olive's lead to 42-31.

Queens (4-13, 2-6) closed to within 46-42 on Shanel Sweet's free throws with nine minutes to play. The Trojans suddenly went cold once again offensively while the Royals battled back. Sarah Myatt's layup trimmed the margin to 48-46 with fewer than seven minutes left.

The Royals eventually took a 53-52 lead on Shonice Pettaway's jumper. Andrea Jones' 3-pointer and a jumper after a Queens turnover pushed MOC back ahead 58-53.

Jones, McDonald and Joneiqua Gary each scored 12 points. Tamara Nesmith added 10 points, while Alyssa Luebs pulled down 12 rebounds.

"I felt like we needed those shots," Jones said. "I hadn't been hitting all game. I just took my time and thought, 'let's hit these shots and get out of here.' I kind of felt like this game was going to happen and it kind of shows in practice.

"But, I think (Thursday) we'll be ready to step up and practice hard."

Queens missed two potential game-tying 3-pointers before Myatt's layup with nine seconds to go cut the deficit to 58-57. MOC turned the ball over on its final possession. Pettaway (16 points) and Shatonya Hardy each missed game-winning shots in the final seconds.

The Trojans entertain North Greenville at 2 p.m. on Saturday.