Ariel Johnson led the University of Mount Olive to a 68-67 victory over Converse College Saturday afternoon for Conference Carolinas women's basketball in Spartanburg, S.C. Anamaria Zjacic recorded her first career double-double during Saturday's game.
Mount Olive (6-10 Overall, 4-6 Conference Carolinas) surrendered the first points of the game to Converse (1-11, 0-9) and was able to take the lead away from the Valkyries on a Johnson made layup. However, Converse regained the lead and held it for five minutes until the Trojans tied the game and took back over with three straight made free-throws on back-to-back possessions. The free-throws by Johnson started what was an 8-0 run by Mount Olive to give them an 18-11 lead with 7:29 left in the half.
Converse was able to keep the margin to single digits even as time expired with Zjacic getting a final second layup to fall before the halftime horn.
The Trojans held the Valkyries for a majority of the second period until Converse made a run midway through the half. Margo Dill grabbed her own rebound and got the put back to fall and started a 9-0 run that allowed the Valkyries to take the lead 46-45 with 10:55 left in the game.
Leah Graham dropped in a jumper and Mount Olive took back the lead with 10:43. Converse responded and went to the free-throw line and knocked down six straight attempts to push the lead to the largest of the game for the Valkyries 52-47 with under nine and a half minutes to play in the game.
Mount Olive was able to bring the game back after five unanswered points amounted to a tie ballgame with 7:55 left in the game. The Valkyrie's offensive could not be silenced as they answered right back with an 8-2 run that jumped them back ahead by five 59-54 at the 5:13 mark.
Johnson put in a two point bucket that began a streak of nine unanswered points by the Trojans to put them back on top for good; The run ended on a Tommarah Harris three-pointer. Harris attempted to seal the win with nine seconds left in the game as she knocked down two free throws. Jakyra Washington, for Converse hit a three-pointer with five seconds left in the game to bring the game to a one point margin. However, Mount Olive was able to hold the ball for the final game buzzer and walked out with a 68-67 victory.
Johnson finished the game with 16 points and 12 boards. Ty Wallace added 14 points. Zjacic had 13 points and 10 boards on her way to her first career double-double.
Margo Dill led all scorers for Converse with 28 points and nine rebounds.
Mount Olive will remain on the road in South Carolina as the Trojans will have the day off before facing North Greenville Monday night at 5:30 p.m.