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April 17, 2024 4:20 am

UMO falls in the final minutes

BRISTOL, Tenn. – After surrendering a season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter, the Trojans suffered an 81-76 loss at King in Conference Carolinas play on Dec. 17.

With the loss, the University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team fell to 6-5 overall and has a 3-2 mark in conference action after seeing its four-game winning streak snapped. Meanwhile, the Tornado ended a four-game slide to improve to 3-9 this season with a 3-2 record in league play.

Freshman Laila Anderson scored a season-high 24 points on 10 of 19 from the field with six steals in 34 minutes off the bench. This marks her first 20-point performance at UMO while ranking second on the team with 9.6 points per game this season.

Junior Haleigh Crews also notched a season-high with 16 points on five of 12 shots with five rebounds in 29 minutes, while teammate Laila Harris finished with 12 points, six rebounds, two steals and one block in 33 minutes. Senior Makayla Kimble and junior Reagan Hune each contributed 10 points on Saturday.

Mount Olive opened the first quarter with back-to-back layups to take an initial 4-0 advantage. The Tornado stormed back with a 10-2 run over a nearly three-minute stretch to establish a 10-6 lead while limiting the Trojans to just one shot attempt over that span. King held a 17-14 advantage with 1:07 left in the quarter before Anderson converted consecutive shots to reclaim the lead for UMO, 18-17. The Tornado tied the contest at 18 from the free-throw line to finish the first quarter.

The game remained close throughout the second with the score knotted at 22 with 6:16 remaining before the break. Mount Olive tallied seven unanswered in the closing minutes of the quarter to take a 33-28 lead with 1:07 left. King made a layup in the final minute before halftime to trail 33-30.

In the third quarter, the Trojans mounted a 10-4 run on a perfect five of five shooting to stretch the lead to 43-34 with 7:42 remaining. The Tornado managed to close the gap to 48-44 with just over four minutes left in the third after converting six of six from the free-throw line. Over the final three-plus minutes, UMO made four of four from the field to hold a 59-51 advantage heading into the final quarter.

With under eight minutes to play, Mount Olive was ahead 61-53 before King went on a 9-2 rally to trim the deficit to 63-62 with 5:46 left. Both sides traded points down the stretch with the game tied three times over the next four minutes. King grabbed the advantage on a jumper with 58 seconds left and closed out the game by making five of six from the line to earn an 81-76 comeback win.

UMO finished the game shooting 28 of 67 (41.8 percent) from the floor and converted 19 of 28 (67.9 percent) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, King shot 36.2 percent (21 of 58) and made 36 of 43 (83.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The Tornado finished with a significant 49-33 rebounding advantage, including 23 offensive boards that led to 22 second-chance points. Mount Olive totaled 52 points in the paint while scoring 28 points off turnovers.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics