03/11/13 — MOC women face top-ranked Clayton State in SE Regional

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MOC women face top-ranked Clayton State in SE Regional

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 11, 2013 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- On the road again.

But this trip has more meaning.

Mount Olive begins play Friday in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional women's basketball tournament after earning the Conference Carolinas' automatic bid on Sunday afternoon.

The eighth-seeded Trojan women (18-11 overall) oppose No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Clayton State (Ga.) University. A game time has not been determined.

"A new season has started just like it did last Tuesday," MOC head coach Wendy Lee said. "This team wasn't intimidated on the road in the conference tournament. We went into the conference tournament with an attitude of nothing to lose and I feel like we won't be intimidated at the regional."

MOC is one of four Conference Carolinas teams to advance to the eight-team, single-elimination event. Regular-season champion Limestone, Barton and Pfeiffer U each received an at-large invitation.

Seventh-seeded Barton and second-seeded Limestone oppose each other in the quarterfinals, while sixth-seeded Pfeiffer plays South Atlantic champ Anderson (S.C.) University. Fourth-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne meets fifth-seeded USC-Aiken in the other first-round game.

Conference Carolinas teams are 15-27 all-time in regional play.

"This has probably been the most-competitive year in Conference Carolinas and I think it has prepared all of us moreso this year than in years past," Lee said. "We are fighting for some respect (as a league). It's a place where we can earn more respect. We have to get in there and go to work. The region is really tough."

The 64-team field is comprised of automatic qualifiers from 22 conferences and 42 at-large recipients. The Elite Eight is March 26-29 at San Antonio, Texas.

Shaw University is the reigning national champion.