Ni'ya Styles hit a three-pointer with 1:09 left to play and Rachel Fehl hit two free throws in the final 20 seconds to help seal University of Mount Olive's 70-67 victory over King University in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Bristol, Tenn. Arieal Johnson tallied 19 points and 15 points for the Trojans, which overcame a 13-point third-quarter deficit.
Mount Olive (11-10 overall, 9-6 Conference Carolinas) was clinging to a narrow 65-63 lead when Styles hit her third three-pointer of the contest. After a King basket, Fehl hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it a two-possession game at 69-65 with 20 seconds remaining. The Tornado made it a two-point game with 12 seconds left after a putback by Arnelle Collins. Fehl was fouled again with nine seconds remaining and again went 1-of-2 from the line. Daria Simmons forced a turnover on King's final possession to prevent a shot attempt.
King (13-8, 12-3) led 40-30 at halftime and took its biggest lead at 47-34 with 6:14 left in the quarter after Whitney Mitchell's steal and layup. Styles converted a three-point play on Mount Olive's next possession and back-to-back field goals by Simmons brought the margin down to single digits at 48-41 with 3:45 left in the period.
The Tornado built the lead back to as many as nine points, but Felicity Havens ended the quarter with her own 5-2 run to pull the Trojans within 52-46.
Mount Olive tied the game 52-52 less than 90 seconds into the fourth quarter as Havens scored on the Trojans' first possession and Johnson followed with a pair of field goals. After King went back on top on Brittany Stringer's three-pointer, Simmons answered with a steal and a layup for the Trojans. The Tornado turned the ball over again and Mount Olive took the lead for good as Havens scored the go-ahead basket and Johnson completed an 8-0 run to give the Trojans a 60-55 lead with 5:27 left in the contest.
Mount Olive took its biggest lead of the game at 65-59 on Johnson's jumper in the paint with 2:16 remaining.
Johnson hit 6-of-7 field goals in the second half and was 9-for-13 from the field for the game. Havens finished with 18 points and six rebounds in her first start of the season, while Styles added 17 points. Simmons led all players with five steals.
Mitchell scored a game-high 24 points for King.
Saturday's win avenged a 64-61 loss to the Tornado January 19 at Kornegay Arena.
Mount Olive returns to action Tuesday as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in a Conference Carolinas match-up. The Trojans won the first meeting 69-65 November 24 at Lees-McRae. The contest was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but moved back a day after a rescheduled game was added for later in the week. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.