Tamara Nesmith scored 21 points and Jasmine McDonald and Alexandra Silva added 15 apiece, but Mount Olive fell to Barton 74-58 in the women's regular season finale for both teams Friday night in Wilson, N.C. Mount Olive heads into the Conference Carolinas Tournament as the fifth seed and will travel to fourth-seeded Coker Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Against Barton, the Trojans battled to a 14-14 tie through the game's first 10 minutes, but the Bulldogs went on a 17-7 run to build a double-digit lead they never relinquished. A McDonald free throw and a jumper from Nesmith brought Mount Olive (15-11 overall, 11-11 CC) within 37-31 four minutes into the second half, but the Trojans got no closer.
Barton (20-6, 19-3) responded with a 12-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Hampering Mount Olive's comeback attempt was 42-percent shooting from the field, including 1-of-11 from three-point range. The Trojans also had just four players score in the contest. Nesmith did the bulk of the scoring, reaching double-figures for the ninth consecutive game. It marked her third double-double during the stretch thanks to a team-high 10 rebounds.
Silva provided a spark off the bench for Mount Olive, hitting 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
In the first half, the Trojans stayed close thanks to a defense that held Barton to 13-of-33 shooting. But eight offensive rebounds by the Bulldogs and Mount Olive's eight turnovers worked against the Trojans.
Mount Olive finishes the regular season tied for fifth with Belmont Abbey and Queens, but owns the tie-breaker over both schools. Against Coker, Mount Olive fell 78-64 December 15 on the road, then dropped a 66-63 decision at Kornegay Arena February 13.