MOUNT OLIVE — Mount Olive escaped with a 76-68 win over the Warriors of Southern Wesleyan University on Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas women’s basketball action at Kornegay Arena in Mount Olive.
Freshman Azariah Fields led the Trojans with 21 points while Jada Bacchus added 16, and Felecity Havens and Leah Williams each tallied 11 points.
The teams were neck and neck through the first five minutes of the opening quarter, but Mount Olive gained the advantage following a pair of free throws by Bacchus.
UMO held a 14-6 lead following a 7-0 run that began with the Bacchus free throws but as time ran out in the first quarter, the Trojan lead was cut to two points, 16-14, as SWU went on an 8-2 run to close out the opening 10 minutes.
The second quarter began with Mount Olive scoring eight consecutive points to open up a 10-point lead, 24-14.
UMO saw their lead increase to 15 points, 31-16, following a Bacchus layup while the clock ticked under six minutes.
Southern Wesleyan rallied back to trail by four as the teams entered halftime with the score sitting at 35-31.
The Warriors went on a 19-4 run in the last six minutes as the shots stopped falling for the Trojans.
SWU came out fighting as they took the lead 39-38, their first lead of the game since the opening quarter, after an 8-3 run.
A pair of 3-pointers, one each by Fields and Kelly Post, gave UMO the lead, 44-42, but SWU responded with a three to retake the lead 45-44.
SWU maintained their grasp on the lead throughout the remainder of the third quarter as the teams entered the final 10 minutes with the Warriors leading 54-47.
Mount Olive spent the first four minutes of the fourth quarter fighting to regain control of the score, and a Williams 3-pointer gave UMO a slim 58-56 lead with 6:44 minutes remaining.
SWU closed the gap to one point several times before taking a one-point lead of their own, 64-63, following a long 3-pointer with under four minutes to play.
Williams hit a second three and Fields added a pair of free throws to give Mount Olive a four-point lead, 68-64.
The Warriors tried to reclaim the lead by fouling the Trojans, but UMO hit all 10 free throws to win the game, 76-68.
Fields led the Trojans with 21 points while Bacchus added 16 and Havens and Williams each tallied 11 apiece.
Mount Olive heads to Belmont for a midweek Conference Carolinas matchup against Belmont Abbey. The Trojans and Crusaders will square off at 5:30 p.m.