MOC women suffer upset
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 28, 2012 11:11 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive didn't value the basketball and couldn't keep North Greenville (S.C.) University off the boards Saturday afternoon.
The Crusaders overcame a 14-point, second-half deficit and stunned the Trojan women, 66-62, inside Kornegay Arena on Saturday afternoon. The loss dropped Mount Olive (13-5 overall) into a first-place tie with archrival Barton in Conference Carolinas East Division play.
"We just didn't respond to their full-court pressure today. (We) threw the ball away and gave them extra possessions with the ball and they took advantage of it," said MOC head coach Wendy Lee. "We just didn't value the ball tonight. We thought we could take risks with it and those risks turned into buckets for them.
"We talked about it (rebounding) the whole game, but for some reason we just couldn't get block outs. They were good on the boards."
North Greenville owned a 45-35 edge in rebounds, including 18 offensive boards that led to 15 points. The Crusaders coerced the Trojans into 19 turnovers, which they converted into 13 points.
Destinee Webb's layup off Andrea Jones' steal and assist gave Mount Olive its biggest lead, 45-31, with less than 15 minutes remaining in the second half. The Crusaders abandoned their sagging zone defense in favor of a harrassing, full-court scheme, and profited from MOC miscues.
Alisha Hope's offensive putback gave NGU its first lead at 58-57 and capped a 27-12 run. Jasmine McDonald and Tamara Nesmith connected on back-to-back baskets to give MOC its last lead of the game, 60-57.
The Crusaders crashed the offensive glass and forced the Trojans into careless turnovers, which spearheaded a game-ending 9-2 run. Cotton's two free throws, which came off a turnover, sealed the visitors' comeback with 3.9 seconds to go. She finished with a double-double -- 12 points, 16 rebounds.
NGU snapped a two-game skid.
"Their offensive rebounding and defensive pressure was the difference in the game," said Lee. "We've got to get better at something."
Nesmith and Jones, who recorded a career-best seven steals, scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.