11/23/13 — MOC women cruise past ECSU

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MOC women cruise past ECSU

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 23, 2013 11:43 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College not only finished the game with momentum against in-state foe Elizabeth City State, it did so in impressive fashion Saturday afternoon.

The Trojan women polished off the Vikings with a 30-8 run in the final 12-plus minutes and rolled to a 77-50 victory inside Kornegay Arena on day two of the 48th annual Pickle Classic. Kirksten Mitchell led three MOC players in double figures with 19 points, including 10 in the second half.

Joneiqua Gary and Andrea Jones added 18 and 17 points, respectively.

"For one, we were all on the same page as to finishing out games with momentum," Gary said. "I think the main reason we were able to do that is because we knew what our goal was and we all wanted to accomplish it together."

Jasmine McDonald's backdoor layup off of Jones' assist extended Mount Olive's lead to 43-29 during the opening minutes of the second half.

Elizabeth City State (1-4 overall) responded with a 13-4 run and pulled to within 47-42 around the 13-minute mark. The short offensive lull didn't bother the Trojans this time.

Gary scored 11 of Mount Olive's next 13 points, including an offensive putback and two 3-pointers. The second triple, which came after Kirksten Mitchell's fall-back 3-pointer from the corner, gave the Trojans a 60-44 advantage at the 8:35 mark.

"During halftime Andrea told me 'Jo, we've got to get something for you (offensively)'," Gary said as she wiped sweat from her brow. "She kept encouraging me and just knowing my teammate still had faith in me really got me into my zone."

Undersized at every position except for point guard, the undersized Trojans battled on the boards and scrapped for every loose ball as the half progressed. They held the physical Vikings to just three field goals in the final 8 1/2 minutes of play.

MOC claimed a 52-37 edge on the boards that included 25 offensive rebounds. Those extra chances enabled the Trojans to shoot 18 of 24 at the free throw line.

"I think we're learning that we might have a few good shooters, but we're really going to win games by defense and rebounding," Trojans head coach Wendy Lee said. "Since the season started, we've known that we're going to be undersized. We have to be smarter, put a body on them, hold contact and we've got to want the offensive board worse.

"I think they're finally getting it."