Gaffney, S.C. – A late run doomed the University of Mount Olive women's basketball team as the Trojans fell to King University, 78-67, in the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday night in the Timken Center in Gaffney, South Carolina.
Score: King 78, Mount Olive 67
Records: Mount Olive (22-7, 18-4 CC), King (23-6, 19-3 CC)
Location: Timken Center, Gaffney, S.C.
How It Happened
- The Trojans grabbed a 15-5 lead with 5:56 left in the opening quarter as junior Ni'Ya Styles knocked down a pair threes to help fuel the hot start.
- UMO saw its lead grow to 11 at 21-10 with just 1:07 later as Styles drained back-to-back three-pointers to increase the Trojans' advantage.
- The Tornado trimmed its deficit to just four at 25-21 with 43 seconds left, but the Trojans responded with a 4-0 run to close the half and give UMO a 29-21 lead after the first period.
- Roaring back, King used an 11-0 run to open the second frame and take a 32-29 lead over UMO with 5:45 left in the opening half.
- UMO battled back to grab a 39-34 advantage on a layup by senior Daria Simmons with 2:52 remaining on the clock in the second quarter.
- In the final minutes of the half, King pushed ahead to take a 40-39 lead before UMO senior Kiara Jones made a layup just before the buzzer to give the Trojans a 41-40 lead at the half.
- Mount Olive was able to open leads of five on two separate occasions in the third period as UMO grabbed its largest lead of the quarter at eight at 55-47 with 2:38 left in the quarter.
- As was true all night, King had an answer for the Trojans, as the Tornado sprinted back to take a 56-55 lead with just 23 seconds left in the period.
- With two seconds left, Styles hit a three that gave UMO a 58-56 advantage heading into the final ten minutes of regulation.
- The Trojans scored back-to-back baskets to open the final period and open a 62-56 lead on King with 8:06 remaining in the fourth.
- King used a 10-2 run to retake the lead at 66-64 with 4:50 left in the period.
- Styles answered for the Trojans, knocking down her seventh three of the night to give UMO a 67-66 lead with 4:27 remaining to play.
- Following Styles' three, King held Mount Olive scoreless over the final 4:27 of the contest, while the Tornado used a 12-0 run to pull away and earn King the 78-67 win.
- Styles poured in 31 points to lead UMO as the junior hit seven threes, tied for second-most in a single game in program history.
- Also scoring in double figures was Simmons with 14 points, adding seven rebounds and five steals.
- Kiara Jones added to her single-season rebounding record with 10 boards to go along with eight points.
- UMO was outshot by King, 41% to 38.9%, with the Tornado narrowly outrebounding the Trojans, 42-41.
- "We are thankful for the opportunity to have shared an outstanding season together with two amazing seniors, Kiara Jones and Daria Simmons," said head coach Wendy Lee. "They have taught us a lot about being true team players and what it means to give your all on a daily basis. We appreciate all their hard work and sacrifices they have made for our team and the program!"
The Trojans will wait to learn their fate as the eight teams selected for the NCAA II Southeast Regional Tournament and all seven other regional tournaments will be announced Sunday evening.