03/16/13 — Clayton State ends Mount Olive's season

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Clayton State ends Mount Olive's season

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 16, 2013 11:30 PM

MOC Sports Information

MORROW, Ga. -- No. 1-ranked Clayton State University forced 31 turnovers and eliminated Mount Olive College, 91-58, from the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional women's basketball tournament Friday evening.

It was the final game for three Trojan seniors -- Tamara Nesmith, Kirstin Mobley and Alyssa Luebs. Nesmith finished with eight points, five assists and four rebounds. Mobley had four points and four rebounds, while Luebs notched three points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Jasmine McDonald led MOC with a double-double -- 19 points, 13 rebounds. She hit 9 of 14 shots from the floor.

The eighth-seeded Trojans had the top-seeded and unbeaten Lakers on their heels early.

McDonald came out on fire, scoring nine of her team's first 11 points. Mount Olive held an 18-15 margin after a Kirksten Mitchell three-point play with 11:29 left. But in a span of 22 seconds, McDonald and Nesmith each picked up their second foul.

Clayton State took the lead for good, 20-18, on a pair of Bena Hanyard free throws with 10:54 left in the first half. Her shots started a 29-12 run that put the game away.

It took a while for the Lakers (30-0 overall) to shake the pesky Trojans, who beat Clayton State's pressure defense early for easy baskets. But as the game wore on, the press took its toll on the visitors and the Lakers won going away.

"They are the best team we have played this year," MOC head coach Wendy Lee said. "They are so physical inside, and then their pressure defense takes so much out of you. We came out with a lot of energy. We weren't intimidated by them. But when we didn't have our best players on the floor, they got away from us."

Clayton State's pressure defense took effect midway through the half and Mount Olive struggled to get the ball up court, turning the ball over 18 times before intermission.

MOC concluded the year 18-12 overall.

"There was never a point this season when I didn't think we were a good team and could accomplish great things," Lee said. "This team worked so hard. They didn't let losing one of top players from last year (Andrea Jones) before the season started bother them. They never thought they couldn't get here, and they did what it takes.

"I am so proud of them."