Arieal Johnson tied a career high with 22 points, however the University of Mount Olive was unable to come back from a second half run as the Trojans fell 67-55 to nationally fourth-ranked Limestone College in Conference Carolinas women's basketball in Gaffney, S.C. The Saints used a run early in the second half to gain the first lead for Limestone and never allowed Mount Olive a chance for a comeback.
Mount Olive (8-12 Overall, 6-8 Conference Carolinas) got out of the gates firing as the Trojans took a 7-0 lead with the help of four points from Johnson. The Trojans did not allow Limestone (19-1, 14-0) on the board until the 15:21 mark as Precilla Hill grabbed her own rebound and got the put-back to fall.
After a Limestone three with 13:28 left in the first period, Johnson started another run for the Trojan offense. The layup began an 8-0 run to push Mount Olive up 17-6 with just under ten minutes. The lead did not change hands for the remainder of the first half. The Saints did however score four unanswered point late before the break to bring the deficit to two. Johnson gave the Trojans the final shot with :30 to give Mount Olive a 23-19 lead headed into halftime.
In the second period both Mount Olive and Limestone exchanged buckets for the first six minutes, with the Trojans holding to the lead throughout. An offensive rebound and a successful put-back by Limestone's Ayshia McNeil brought the Saints offense to the forefront. What transpired in the next 8:21 was a 17-2 offensive outburst by Limestone. The run gave Limestone its' first lead of the game at 46-38 with 7:54 left in regulation.
Johnson tried to help the Trojans come back as she scored eight of her 22 points in a 1:45 span in the final five minutes to bring the margin to within 56-49 with 3:40 left in the game. Limestone pushed the lead back to double digits with back-to-back three-pointers and Mount Olive was not able to recover.
For Mount Olive, Johnson finished with a double-double as she added 12 rebounds to her 22 points. Tommarah Harris added 10 points.
Jasmine Kearse led all scorers for Limestone with 18.
Mount Olive will remain on the road as the Trojans will head to Erskine College on Saturday Jan. 31. Tip-off from Due West, S.C. is set for 2 p.m.