02/10/13 — Lady Trojans snap four-game skid

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Lady Trojans snap four-game skid

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 10, 2013 1:51 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- There's nothing better than snapping a four-game skid at home and avenging a loss at the same time.

Mount Olive did both Saturday evening.

Tamara Nesmith came within one assist of a triple-double and the Trojan women dismantled Conference Carolinas foe Lees-McRae, 74-48, during the opening game of the 30th annual MOC Basketball Church Night at Kornegay Arena.

"We're not used to having a streak of four consecutive losses," said Nesmith, who finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

"We said we're going to play as a team, pass the ball if we need to pass it (and) if we get a bad shot, bring it back out. We just worked as a team tonight. That was the key point"

The Trojans' Joneiqua Gary and the Bobcats' Lauren Lewis shared game-high scoring honors with 19 points apiece. Jasmine McDonald chipped in 12 points for MOC, which defeated Lees-McRae for the 18th time in 23 meetings since 2003.

Mount Olive (13-7 overall, 9-7 CC) controlled the boards and didn't wilt when Lees-McRae twice trimmed a 10-point deficit to two possessions in the opening half.

Nesmith, Alexandra Silva and bench reserve Leah Graham led an 8-0 charge toward the end of the opening half to give the Trojans a 36-26 advantage at intermission.

Nesmith had 14 first-half points.

"She's our engine," grinned MOC head coach Wendy Lee. "Tam stepped up and provided a lot of confidence for our team. She was playing on both ends (of the court). Tonight, she wasn't worried about anything and it all came together for us."

The Bobcats (8-11, 6-10) pulled to within 42-36 about 4 1/2 minutes into the second half. McDonald converted a field goal, Alyssa Luebs turned her own steal into a layup and Nesmith added a fast-break basket to make it 49-36 with 12:56 left in the game.

MOC limited Lees-McRae to just 12 points in the final 15 1/2 minutes. The Bobcats succumbed to 23 turnovers which led to 28 points and allowed the Trojan women to collect 34 points in the paint.

"In practice, we work a lot on denying the ball, not letting them get the pass," Nesmith said. "Coach always tells us if you play hard defense, your offense will come. That's what happened."