Jada Bacchus and Felicity Havens both posted double-doubles as University of Mount Olive pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 66-57 victory over Converse College Wednesday at Spartanburg, S.C. The win extends the Trojans' winning streak to five.
Havens' layup with 4:58 left in the game broke a 54-54 tie and triggered an 8-0 run to put Mount Olive (15-10 overall, 13-6 Conference Carolinas) ahead to stay. The Trojans' limited Converse (5-18, 4-15) to three free throws over the final five-plus minutes of the contest. The Valkyries never got any closer than six points the rest of the way.
Mount Olive spotted Converse the first six points of the game before Tommarah Harris' layup with 4:56 left in the first quarter gave the Trojans their first lead at 10-8. The game saw six ties and three lead changes before Converse used a three-pointer by Kassidy Moorhouse with 7:12 left in the second quarter to take a 23-19 lead.
A three-pointer by Harris highlighted a 9-0 Trojan run and Mount Olive led for the remainder of the half. A basket by Erin Horne for Converse with 2:39 remaining was the final points of the half as the Valkyries cut the Trojans' lead to 31-27 at halftime.
The Trojans extended their lead to 34-27 after a jumper by Daria Simmons less than a minute into the second half. The lead was short-lived as Chrystal Ellis converted a three-point play and Horne hit a three-pointer to tie the game 35-35 with 8:01 left in the third quarter. Converse built a 44-41 lead before Simmons scored the first four points of a 6-0 Trojan run to put Mount Olive back on top heading into the fourth quarter.
Simmons' three-point play with 6:35 left to play gave Mount Olive a 54-50 advantage. Converse rallied to force the eighth tie of the night, but Yashee Johnson's layup with 5:19 remaining would be the Valkyries' last field goal of the contest.
Bacchus finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, while Havens added 12 points and 12 rebounds for third double-double overall and second in a row. Simmons also scored 12 points, while Kiara Jones pulled down 10 rebounds and came within one point of her fourth double-double of the season. Rachel Fehl sparked the Trojans defensively with a career-high five steals. Mount Olive outrebounded Converse 43-28 to overcome a season-high 31 turnovers.
Horne led all players with 19 points for Converse. Ashley Salgado dished out a game-high 12 assists for the Valkyries.
Mount Olive has only three regular season games remaining, all at home. The Trojans play host to Pfeiffer University Saturday at Kornegay Arena in a Conference Carolinas match-up. The Trojans defeated the Falcons 75-50 January 16 at Pfeiffer. Tip-off is 5 p.m.