Joneiqua Gary scored 23 points, including her own 8-0 run in a span of 40 seconds, while Andrea Jones added 20 points in her first game since the 2011-12 season, but Mount Olive saw a 10-point second-half lead disappear as the Trojans fell to Newberry 74-72 in non-conference women's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. The game was the Trojans' home opener.
Mount Olive (1-2) led by as many as 11 points in the first half after Jones' three-pointer with 11:50 left gave the Trojans a 19-8 advantage. Newberry (2-0) chipped away at the lead and Tasia Holdorf's basket with 0.3 seconds remaining pulled the Wolves within 38-34 at halftime.
Newberry scored the first seven points of the second half as Haylee Lepaio's 8-foot jumper gave the Wolves a 41-38 lead with 17:58 left. Mount Olive would regain the lead as an unusual sequence led to a six-point play by Gary.
Gary tied the game on a three-pointer from the left wing with 17:38 remaining and Newberry was called for a foul after the shot. The basket counted and the Trojans maintained possession. Jones drove underneath the basket and kicked the ball out to Gary, who nailed another three from the top of the key to give Mount Olive a 44-41 lead just 20 seconds later. Gary then stole the ball and finished with a layup to complete her scoring run.
Jones recorded a steal that led to a fastbreak layup by Anamaria Jzacic and then added a three-pointer to cap a run of 13 unanswered points and stretch the lead back to double figures at 51-41 with 15:58 left to play. Mount Olive still had a 10-point lead with less than six minutes left before Newberry made its final comeback.
Zara Pearson's three-pointer with 5:08 remaining triggered Newberry's rally and the Wolves then took over with their inside game. Holdorf scored a pair of baskets in the paint and Lepaio's layup pulled Newberry within a basket. Samantha Creed tied the game 68-68 on a pair of free throws with 2:27 left and after a Trojan missed free throw, Creed put the Wolves on top with a jumper with 1:58 remaining.
Jones' layup with 1:36 left – Mount Olive's first field goal in four minutes – tied the game 70-70. Creed put Newberry ahead to stay with a pair of free throws with 25 seconds left. After the Trojans missed a shot, Holdorf hit 1-of-2 free throws to give Newberry a 73-70 lead with nine seconds remaining.
Mount Olive's Katie Paschal was fouled before the Trojans had a chance for a game-tying three-pointer and Paschal hit both free throws to make it a 73-72 game with 4.6 seconds remaining. Mount Olive fouled immediately and Pearson hit the second free throw after missing the first to give the Trojans one last shot. But a three-point attempt from the left wing was just off the mark at the buzzer.
Gary and Jones each hit four three-pointers, while Paschal added 13 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the free throw line. Jasmine McDonald, who came up two rebounds short of extending her streak of consecutive double-digit rebound games to seven, recorded game highs of nine assists and five steals.
Lepaio led all players with 27 points for Newberry, while Creed added 18 points and five assists. Holdorf contributed 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds off the bench for the Wolves.
Mount Olive is idle until Saturday when the Trojans play host to Elizabeth City State in a non-conference match-up as part of Pickle Classic Weekend. Tip-off is noon at Kornegay Arena.