BELMONT – After being held to 27 percent from the field Dec. 7, the Trojans fell by a 75-45 margin against Belmont Abbey on the road in Conference Carolinas play.
With the loss, the University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team dropped to 8-7 overall with a 4-3 mark in conference action. The Crusaders hold a 9-1 record against the Trojans over the last 10 meetings dating back to 2017. Meanwhile, Belmont Abbey extended its seven-game winning streak and improved to 9-3 this season with an undefeated 6-0 record in league play.
Junior Reagan Hune led the team with 13 points on six of eight attempts with five rebounds in 31 minutes. Senior Makayla Kimble finished with 12 points and two rebounds in 22 minutes after battling foul trouble, while junior Laila Harris was held to six points, three rebounds and one block in 27 minutes.
The Crusaders converted three of four shots over the initial four-plus minutes of the contest to build an early 9-5 advantage. Mount Olive answered with five unanswered points to take a 10-9 lead with 4:19 left in the first behind a three-pointer from Kimble. The game would be tied two times before Belmont Abbey made a layup with 16 seconds left to hold a 14-12 advantage after the first quarter.
The Crusaders mounted a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and extended the lead to 23-12. Hune halted the run with a layup at the 5:30 mark, but Belmont Abbey went on a 13-4 run over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 36-18 advantage into halftime. During the second quarter, the Trojans were held to six points on just three of 13 shooting.
The third quarter opened with a three-minute scoreless drought from both teams before Hune hit a jumper with 6:56 left to pull Mount Olive to within 36-20. Both sides traded baskets over the next four minutes before Belmont Abbey closed the quarter by scoring nine of the following 10 points to stretch the lead to 54-27 entering the final quarter.
The Trojans were unable to chip into the lead throughout the fourth, as the Crusaders sealed the win by shooting 11 of 12 from the charity stripe.
The Trojans finished the game shooting 16 of 59 from the floor while converting four of 12 (33.3 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Crusaders shot at a 53.3 percent clip (24 of 45) from the field and made 22 of 26 (84.6 percent) from the free-throw line. Belmont Abbey finished with a 40-23 rebounding advantage and scored 32 points in the paint, while UMO tallied 23 points off the bench.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics