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April 17, 2024 4:34 am

UMO drops contest at Southern Wesleyan

CENTRAL, S.C. – The University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a third-quarter surge in a 69-56 loss at Southern Wesleyan on Jan. 21 in Conference Carolinas play.

With the loss, the Trojans dropped to 10-10 this season with a 6-6 record in league action. Southern Wesleyan snapped a nine-game losing streak to UMO and claimed its first home win over Mount Olive since 2018. Meanwhile, the Warriors improved to 3-17 overall with a 3-9 mark in conference play.

Junior Laila Harris paced the team with 16 points on eight of 17 from the floor with eight rebounds in 35 minutes. The New Jersey native collected her 14th double-digit performance of the season while averaging a team-leading 13.2 points per game.

Freshman Laila Anderson finished with 14 points on six of 16 shots with four rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes, while junior Reagan Hune also registered 14 points on seven of 11 attempts with three rebounds, three assists and four steals. Teammate Haleigh Crews produced eight points and six rebounds in 32 minutes.

The Trojans went a perfect three of three from the field to start the game and established an 8-4 advantage. Southern Wesleyan answered with a 9-2 rally to take a 13-10 lead at the 4:38 mark of the first quarter before UMO scored six of the following eight points to regain the advantage, 16-15 after one period.

The Warriors made four of six shots early in the second quarter to retake the lead 24-22 before tallying six straight points to stretch the advantage to 30-22. With 3:17 left, Mount Olive rallied with a 10-2 run on a perfect four of four shooting to go into halftime tied at 32.

In the third quarter, the Warriors found their offensive rhythm with a 14-4 run, including four treys, to build a 46-36 advantage. Hune halted the run with a layup before SWU closed the quarter by scoring seven of the final nine points to take a 53-40 lead into the fourth.

The Trojans quickly trimmed the deficit with seven unanswered points to trail 53-47 with just over seven minutes left. Southern Wesleyan extended the advantage to double digits with back-to-back three-pointers to lead 59-47 before both teams exchanged points over the final four-plus minutes.

The Trojans finished the game shooting 41 percent (25 of 61) from the floor while converting just one of nine (11.1 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Warriors shot at a 48.1 percent clip (26 of 54) from the field and made nine of 21 (42.9 percent) from three-point range. Southern Wesleyan finished with a 38-27 rebounding advantage and produced 19 points off 22 UMO turnovers, while Mount Olive tallied 42 points in the paint.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics