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April 16, 2024 5:16 pm

UMO secures win over Lees-McRae on Senior Day

MOUNT OLIVE – Freshman Laila Anderson and junior Reagan Hune combined for nearly 50 points on Feb. 11, as the University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team secured an 80-67 win over Lees-McRae at Kornegay Arena in Conference Carolinas play on Senior Day.

With the win, the Trojans improved to 13-13 this season with a 9-9 mark in league action. Mount Olive remains sixth in the conference standings with two road games left in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Bobcats dropped to 2-19 overall with a 1-15 record in conference play.

Anderson led all players with 24 points on eight of 15 shooting with six rebounds, one assist and four steals in 36 minutes of action. She has scored at least 24 points in three of the last four contests to bring her season average up to 12.1 points per game.

Hune dropped 23 points on 10 of 18 from the floor while adding nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in 38 minutes. She is now averaging 10.4 points per game and collected her second 20-point performance of the season.

Freshman Maleiya Hill totaled nine points, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes, while sophomore Kaia Simpson finished with eight points, three rebounds, one assist and one block in 12 minutes off the bench.

The Bobcats took a 7-2 lead in the opening minutes before UMO stormed back to tie the contest at 9-9. The Trojans followed up with seven straight points to stretch the advantage to 16-9 at the 3:56 mark of the first quarter. Lees-McRae once again worked down the deficit before Mount Olive closed the period with a 5-0 run to hold a 21-12 lead.

After an initial layup from the Bobcats to start the second, the Trojan offense scored 10 unanswered points to take a 31-14 advantage. Lees-McRae countered with a 10-2 rally to cut the deficit to single digits with 2:49 left at 33-24. UMO scored seven of the final 11 points of the first half to take a 40-28 lead into the break.

After exchanging points in the opening three-plus minutes of the third quarter, the Trojans went on a 14-0 run to take their largest lead of the contest, 60-35. The Bobcats refused to back down and finished the third by scoring nine of the last 12 points to trail 63-44.

Lees-McRae slowly chipped away at the lead in the fourth after the Trojans went cold from the floor. Mount Olive was able to seal the victory from the free-throw line in the final quarter by converting 15 of 20 shots.

UMO finished the contest shooting 39.7 percent (27 of 68) from the floor while converting 22 of 28 (78.6 percent) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Lees-McRae shot 49 percent (24 of 49) and made 16 of 19 (84.2 percent) from the charity stripe. The Trojans held a 40-28 rebounding advantage with 27 points off 22 turnovers forced.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics