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March 3, 2024 9:15 pm

UMO women’s basketball eliminated by UNCP

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Despite a team-high 19 points from junior Reagan Hune, the University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team suffered a 69-49 loss to No. 3 seed UNC Pembroke in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Casualty Conference Carolinas Women’s Basketball Championships at the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on March 3.

With the loss, the Trojans finished the year with a 15-15 overall record and have won at least 15 games the previous four full seasons. The Trojans featured a pair of all-conference third-team recipients and the Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year this season. Meanwhile, the Braves improved to 20-9 overall.

Hune delivered 19 points on 6 of 18 shooting while converting five of six from the free-throw line. She also added seven rebounds, four steals and one block in 37 minutes of action. Over the final seven games of the year, including the postseason, Hune produced 20.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Junior Haleigh Crews finished with 10 points and three rebounds in 23 minutes, while freshman Maleiya Hill totaled seven points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 38 minutes. Freshman Laila Anderson was held to six points, three rebounds and two assists, while sophomore Tiandria Tucker registered six points and seven rebounds.

In the first quarter, the Trojans established a 5-3 advantage in the opening two-plus minutes after Hill hit a layup followed by a three-pointer from Hune. The Braves responded with eight unanswered points to take the lead 11-5. Tucker closed the gap to 12-8 at the 2:59 mark before UNCP finished the quarter with an 8-2 run to hold a 20-10 edge.

Hune nailed another shot from beyond the arc to begin the second quarter before cutting the deficit to 22-15 on a layup. Both sides went scoreless for more than three minutes before five straight points by the Trojans closed the gap to 22-20 with 1:56 left. The Braves rallied in the final minute with a 6-0 run to take a 28-20 advantage into the break.

Both teams traded baskets over the initial minutes of the third quarter before UNC Pembroke stretched the lead to 37-24. Mount Olive scored six of the next eight points to trim the deficit to 39-30 with three minutes left. The Braves managed to finish the third with a 49-36 advantage after back-to-back baskets in the final 51 seconds.

In the fourth, the Trojans struggled to overcome the deficit and find an offensive rhythm after shooting 3 of 10 in the opening five-plus minutes. UNC Pembroke held a 60-46 lead with 4:05 left before going on a 9-3 run in the final minutes to seal the win.

The Trojans shot 30.5 percent (18 of 59) from the field while going 5 of 19 (26.3 percent) from three-point territory. The Braves shot at a 46.2 percent clip (24 of 52) from the floor and converted 15 of 20 (75 percent) from the free-throw line.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics