02/18/12 — Erskine downs Mount Olive women

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Erskine downs Mount Olive women

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 18, 2012 11:11 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- With its most important basketball of the season rapidly approaching Mount Olive has a lot to figure out in a short amount of time.

The Trojans struggled on both ends of the floor throughout the majority of a 68-55 loss to Erskine on Saturday evening inside Kornegay Arena.

Mount Olive was haunted by the same offensive woes that plagued the Trojans throughout Tuesday night's loss to Barton. Turnovers were again an issue as Mount Olive gave the ball away 11 times in the first half. The Trojans shot just 19 percent (6 for 31) from the floor and had only six points more than midway though the opening 20 minutes.

Lindsey Weidenaar's 3-pointer gave the Flying Fleet a 15-6 lead. Mount Olive pulled to within 19-15 before Weidenaar's 3-pointer at the buzzer extended Erskine's advantage to 22-15 at the break.

"It's disappointing," Trojans' head coach Wendy Lee said. "Erskine played a good game and we haven't gotten it together offensively or defensively for the past two games. We've just got to get back to the basics and get back after it"

The margin grew to 30-19 early in the second half on Elizabeth Tatum's three-point play.

Mount Olive (17-7, 11-4 CC) struggled to string together consecutive stops on the defensive end to chip away at the Flying Fleet's lead. Layups on back-to-back possessions from Porsha Morgan pushed Erskine's lead to 39-25 nearly eight minutes into the second half. Morgan finished with a game-high 18 points to go with eight assists.

The Trojans sliced the margin to 44-37 on Kirksten Mitchell's jump shot with more than seven minutes to play. The Flying Fleet (12-12, 9-7) scored six unanswered points down the stretch as the lead swelled to 55-42 and Erskine put the game away by converting at the free throw line.

Mount Olive began the week shooting 41 percent as a team and for the second consecutive game the Trojans shot below 30 percent from the floor. On Saturday evening, Mount Olive was 22 for 75 (29 percent) from the field.

"We've got some key players who have allowed their struggles to affect them mentally all at the same time," Lee said. "That is unusual. Usually one player goes into a slump and we've got at least three or four and they all start. We need some people to step up and lead right now and I'm expecting they will."

Tamara Nesmith led the Trojans with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Mitchell contributed 11 points and Andrea Jones had 10 points. Jasmine McDonald had seven points and 14 rebounds.

Mount Olive visits St. Andrews on Tuesday.