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October 3, 2023 10:59 am

Trojans fall in exhibition at UNC Wilmington

WILMINGTON – Facing a Division I opponent in an exhibition on Wednesday night, the University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team fell by an 84-59 margin at UNC Wilmington.

With the loss, the Trojans remained at 0-2 overall following the exhibition. Junior Laila Harris led the team with 17 points after shooting 6-11 from the floor and converting a perfect 5-5 from the free-throw line. She also added three rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block in 34 minutes.

Junior transfer Reagan Hune tallied 14 points on 6-12 shots attempted with six rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes. Sophomore Kaia Simpson finished with eight points on 3-4 shots, including a pair of three-pointers, and two rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.

UNCW made the opening basket of the game before building a slight 8-5 advantage with 6:44 left in the first quarter. The Trojans answered with a 13-2 run after going 6-6 from the field to take an 18-10 lead. Mount Olive managed to stretch the advantage to 25-15 before the Seahawks scored five straight to close out the first quarter to trail 25-20.

In the second quarter, both sides exchanged points over the first five minutes with UMO holding a 31-28 lead. After a scoreless drought of more than nearly three minutes, UNCW tied the contest at 31 before Simpson nailed a three-pointer with 23 seconds left to reclaim the advantage. The Trojans held a 34-33 lead at the break following a jumper converted with one second left by the Seahawks.

Mount Olive remained ahead 40-37 early in the third after a pair of three-pointers by senior Makayla Kimble. UNCW countered with an 11-2 rally after forcing four turnovers to take a 48-42 lead with 3:09 left in the quarter. The Seahawks remained ahead over the final three-plus minutes of the third to hold a 53-45 lead after three quarters.

Harris and Hune made a pair of shots to close the gap to 53-50 with 8:41 left before UNCW went on a 10-0 run spanning two-plus minutes to extend the advantage to 63-50. Mount Olive responded with back-to-back jumpers, but the Seahawks finished the game with a 21-5 run to seal the win, 84-59.

The Trojans finished the game shooting 48.9 percent (22-45) from the floor, including 7-13 (53.8 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Seahawks shot at a 48.3 clip (28-58) from the field and converted 27-36 (75 percent) from the charity stripe. UNCW forced 30 turnovers which resulted in 42 points, while UMO scored 20 points in the paint.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics