MOUNT OLIVE — The University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team defeated the Valkyries of Converse College 78-69 in Conference Carolinas action Tuesday evening in Mount Olive. Felecity Havens led Mount Olive with 23 points while Azariah Fields added a career-high 17 points and Makayla Nichols dished out 18 of her own.
Mount Olive came out of the opening tip flat as Converse snagged the first points of the game six seconds in. The Valkyries went on to score two more buckets before Makayla Nichols’ three-pointer stopped the run and drought for UMO with 8:12 left in the quarter.
Following a Converse layup midway through the opening quarter, the Trojans positioned themselves for a run for the lead. Hope Toliver made a jumper that started a short 8-0 run for UMO that gave the home five their first lead of the game at 15-12 with 3:51 remaining in the first. Despite the Valkyries coming to within one point of the lead Mount Olive held a four-point lead 22-18 at the end of the first after a buzzer-beater three-point jumper from Azariah Fields.
The second quarter was mostly uneventful as the Trojans’ lead grew to as large as nine as they held a 36-30 advantage heading into the break.
Mount Olive came out with a bit of a spark in the third as the Trojans scored the first six points of the quarter and extended their lead to 12.
Two Nichols three-point shots pushed UMO’s lead out to 50-33 with 3:32.
Converse had the final shot of the quarter however with a shot that fell right at the horn taking the Trojan advantage down to 55-41.
The Trojans continued to increase their lead to 20 in the final quarter with 7:30 left in the quarter.
Converse responded with eight unanswered points of their own drawing the score to 67-54 with 4:46.
Another run by the Valkyries drew the deficit to single digits after a 7-0 spread CC was down 70-64 with just a minute to play in a game.
After holding the lead for much of the game Converse was forced to foul in the final seconds and UMO did not miss a free-throw going 8-for-8 from the line to close out the win 78-69.
Felecity Havens led the Trojans with 23 points moving her career total to 1,656 points.
Freshman Azariah Fields scored 17 points in the game setting a new career-high for the guard from Wilmington.
Mount Olive hits the road for a pair of Conference Carolinas road games later this week at Lees-McRae College and King University. The Trojans first take on the Bobcats, Thursday, Jan. 10, at 5:30 p.m., in a rescheduled contest, and follow with a game versus the Tornado in Bristol, Tenn., Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m.