12/01/12 — MOC women defeat Flying Fleet

View Archive

MOC women defeat Flying Fleet

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 1, 2012 11:57 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Once Mount Olive focused on its defense and didn't agonize over missed scoring chances, it proved difficult to stop Saturday afternoon.

Kirksten Mitchell pumped in a career-high 21 points, while Tamara Nesmith and Jasmine McDonald each posted a double-double in a 79-49 thrashing of Conference Carolinas foe Erskine (S.C.) College inside Kornegay Arena. Mitchell played 23 minutes for the Trojans, who improved to 5-0 for the first time during Wendy Lee's 12-year tenure as head coach.

Nesmith provided 19 points and 14 rebounds. McDonald contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

"I'm not really sure what we were doing in the first half that caused us to look so flat," Lee said. "Maybe we were considering shots that we were missing instead of focusing on defense. When we get our focused off of our defense, we're not the same team. We're just not as good."

One of four winless teams entering weekend league play, Erskine (0-6, 0-3 CC) twice shaved an eight-point deficit to a single possession during the first 15 minutes. The Trojans couldn't finish around the basket and committed careless turnovers.

Freshman guard Tori Whittenberg swished a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull the Flying Fleet to within 27-25. Nesmith's layup off of McDonald's assist pushed MOC back in front 32-27 a few seconds later until Rosa Powell drained a 3-pointer off of Haleigh Spaulding's second assist in the short surge.

Whittenberg ended the night with 18 points.

"They got a lot of really good looks," Lee said.

But Erskine's good fortune quickly ended.

Mitchell converted a pair of free throws and Nesmith scored twice underneath the basket to ignite a 16-0 run that carried over into the second half. Mitchell canned the fourth of her five 3-pointers, assisted on a McDonald layup and knocked down two more free throws in the first three minutes of the second half.

The Trojans led 48-30 and the Flying Fleet had no wind left in their sails.

"I was more focused today than usual," Mitchell said. "My team just gave the me ball and told me to keep shooting, keep driving (and) stay focused. I saw our team was too close (on the scoreboard), so I wanted to get us a (bigger) lead. I've been hitting them all this week (in practice), I felt confident and just kept shooting."

Joneiqua Gary, in her third game back from a preseason injury, supplied 13 points off the bench.

Mount Olive dominated the glass 52-25, had 20 more offensive possessions and recorded 20 team assists on 26 made field goals.

The Trojans claimed their 22nd victory against the Flying Fleet in 35 meetings, including an 11-2 edge since 2006.