University of Mount Olive scored 16 unanswered points early in the first half and put the game out of reach with a 12-0 run shortly after halftime as the Trojans defeated Lees-McRae 80-38 in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Tommarah Harris led four Trojans in double figures with a game-high 14 points as Mount Olive posted its second win in less than 24 hours.
Ni'Ya Styles' three-pointer two minutes into the contest broke a 2-2 tie and Mount Olive (8-11 overall, 6-7 Conference Carolinas) held Lees-McRae scoreless for more than six minutes as the Trojans bolted out to an 18-2 lead with 13:16 left in the first half. The Trojans received a scare when 6-4 center Arieal Johnson had to leave the game with an injury midway through the half and Lees-McRae went on to cut the margin to 23-11 with 8:57 remaining after a pair of 12-foot jumpers by Tayler Collins.
Johnson returned to the court with 7:28 remaining and immediately hit a short jumper off of an inbounds pass by Tommarah Harris. Johnson then pulled down an offensive board on Mount Olive's next possession and found Harris for a three-pointer to complete a 7-0 run and extend the Trojans' lead to 30-11.
Shy'lia Buie came off the bench to score Mount Olive's next seven points and Rachel Fehl's three-pointer with nine seconds left gave the Trojans a 40-20 halftime lead.
The two teams exchanged a pair of baskets to start the second half before Harris' three-pointer with 16:27 remaining gave Mount Olive a 47-24 lead and triggered a 12-point run. The margin eclipsed the 30-point mark after Gabby Griffin's three-point play with 11:53 left to play extended the Trojans' lead to 56-34.
Mount Olive went to its bench and the lead never fell below 28 points the rest of the way. The final score was the largest margin after the Trojans scored the final 11 points of the contest.
Buie tallied 13 points and four steals, while Ty Wallace added 10 points and eight rebounds. Johnson pulled down 11 rebounds in 19 minutes as the Trojans outrebounded the Bobcats 53-25. Jakara White came off the bench for the final six minutes of the contest and scored a career-high 10 points.
Collins led Lees-McRae with 11 points, while Kerri Belcher dished out a game-high five assists.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Gaffney, S.C., to take on nationally sixth-ranked Limestone in a Conference Carolinas match-up. The Trojans fell to the Saints 68-54 in the first meeting November 25 at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m.