University of Mount Olive cut an 18-point second-half deficit down to three, but Barton College held on to defeat the Trojans 77-69 in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. Tommarah Harris led the Trojans with 14 points, while Ty Wallace added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Mount Olive (9-13 overall, 7-9 Conference Carolinas) trailed 45-27 with 16:33 left in the contest when Harris hit three 3-pointers during an 11-0 run to pull the Trojans within seven. Barton (10-12, 9-6) pushed its lead back to double digits on back-to-back three-pointers by Brianna Thomas. The margin stayed in double figures until Mount Olive made one last run in the final two-plus minutes.
Turnovers on consecutive Barton possessions led to layups by Anamaria Zjacic and Wallace as the Trojans pulled within 71-66 with 1:38 remaining. Shylia Buie hit a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left to close the gap to 72-68. After another Barton turnover, Leah Graham capitalized on a Bulldog lane violation to add a free throw to make the score 72-69 with 44 seconds left. But the Trojans would not score again as Barton hit five free throws to seal the win.
In the first half, Barton built a 19-10 lead after a three-pointer by Deja Jeanpierre with 11:38 remaining. Rachel Fehl sparked a Mount Olive mini-run with a reverse layup and a dish underneath to Ty Wallace to pull the Trojans within 19-14.
Mount Olive was still within five with 5:14 left before halftime when Barton went on a 13-2 run. Jeanpierre hit another three-pointer and Tatyana Jackson's end-to-end layup gave the Bulldogs a 38-22 lead with 1:26 left. Mount Olive scored the final points of the half as Ni'ya Styles' rainbow three went through the net just as the buzzer sounded to pull the Trojans within 38-25 at the break.
Arieal Johnson shared game-high honors with 11 rebounds for Mount Olive, which outrebounded Barton 43-37. Zjacic pulled down eight rebounds to go with seven points and five assists.
Thomas recorded a double-double for Barton with a game-high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds. Tatyana Jackson and Kaila Lea added 14 points apiece for the Bulldogs.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans play host to North Greenville in a Conference Carolinas match-up. The Trojans fell 85-78 in overtime at North Greenville in the first meeting. Saturday's contest is part of the 32nd Annual Mount Olive Basketball Church Night. Tip-off is 5 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.