Ni'Ya Styles had a career high 25 points as University of Mount Olive held off a late run by Emmanuel College to defeat the Lions 69-61 Wednesday night in Conference Carolinas women's basketball in Mount Olive, N.C.
Mount Olive (7-7 Overall, 5-3 Conference Carolinas) got on the on the board first as the game started out slow as the game's first points were not tallied until the 8:30 mark of the first quarter. Emmanuel (9-5, 5-3) quickly responded to tie the game; however the Trojans regained the lead and maintained it for the first half. The Lions were able to tie the game once again in the second quarter with a layup from Elise Coberly with 5:56 remaining before the half.
The Trojans' offense kicked into gear as two free throws by Ariel Johnson started an 7-0 run and put Mount Olive ahead 27-20 with 4:40 remaining. Emmanuel fought back however and used six unanswered points to make it a one point game with 36 seconds left. Daria Simmons ended the half with a pair of free throws and Mount Olive went into the half up 29-26.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter Mount Olive put up seven straight points and led 36-28 with 7:58. The Trojans held on to the lead for the remainder of the quarter and finished strong headed into the final quarter on another seven point run. Simmons again capped off the scoring in the third as Mount Olive led 57 -39, their largest lead of the game.
Emmanuel tried to make the fourth quarter interesting as the Lions nicked away at the Trojan lead with minutes remaining. Midway through the fourth Avery Scarborough hit a jumper with 4:37 to start a six point run that brought the lead down to 62-52 with 2:37. The Lions were able to get the lead down to six with six seconds left in the game, but Mount Olive thwarted any attempt of a comeback.
Styles added five steals to her career high point total. Johnson had a double-double night with 15 points and 14 boards. Simmons joined Johnson with 15 points as well. Kiara Jones missed a near third straight double-double as she finished with seven points and 18 rebounds.
Mount Olive will hit the road this weekend as the Trojans head over to Misenheimer, N.C. to take on Pfeiffer at 5:30 p.m. this Saturday.