Ariel Johnson scored a career high 33 points to lead the University of Mount Olive to a 83-68 win over Southern Wesleyan University for Conference Carolinas women's basketball. Johnson and Ty Wallace combined for 55 of Mount Olive's 83 points.
Mount Olive (10-14 Overall, 8-10 Conference Carolinas) started the game with the hot hand as the Trojans went on 12-0 run right out of the gates. Johnson grabbed eight of the twelve points in the run before Southern Wesleyan's (6-15, 4-14) Shyla Coleman free throws broke the run.
The Trojans held the lead for the remainder of the half as the lead grew to as high as 15 and never went below nine until late in the first period.
Southern Wesleyan down 39-25 made a run. With 6:36 on the clock Brooke Strickland made two free throws to begin nine unanswered points put up by the Warriors. Johnson broke the scoring drought at 1:52 before halftime to keep the Trojans ahead by seven 41-34. The Trojans finished the first period on a 6-to-2 run and went into the break, up 45-36.
In the second half Mount Olive pushed back out to a double digit lead in the first five minutes. After Johnson made two free throws at the 15:40 mark both teams went into a scoring drought. Mount Olive broke the drought with a made bucket by Wallace with 12:41 and the Trojans led 58-42.
Cayse Branyon for the Warriors made a jump shot with 12:23 to start a 9-2 run that brought Southern Wesleyan to within 60-51.
After Southern Wesleyan brought the game to within five points at the 6:40 mark, Shy'lia Buie started a run for the Trojans. Eleven unanswered points in a three minutes allowed Mount Olive to go back up by double figures 76-60 with 3:08 left in the game.
Mount Olive finished the game going 3-for-4 from the foul line and sealed the win.
Johnson finished a double-double as she added 11 rebounds to her 33 points. Wallace finished one board short of a double-double with nine rebounds and 22 points. Anamaria Zjacic rounded out the Trojans that scored in double figures with 12 points.
Bri Seda led Southern Wesleyan with 15 points.
Mount Olive remains on the road as the Trojans head to Belmont Abbey on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.