Mount Olive Falls 79-65 At Johnson C. Smith

Photo by James Benson.
Photo by James Benson.

MOUNT OLIVE, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive women's basketball team took their first loss of the season to the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith on Saturday afternoon in Charlotte, NC. UMO drops to 2-1 overall while JCSU improved to 3-1 on the young season. 

The contest was the first road game of the season for the UMO women's basketball team. Johnson C. Smith doled the Trojans their first loss of the 2019-2020 season. Sophomore Azariah Field collected her third double-digit performance and second 20+ point game of the season.

Johnson C. Smith got on the scoreboard first with a layup 32 seconds into the game and proceeded to take a 5-0 lead before UMO found their first basket from Azariah Fields at the 5:31 mark of the opening quarter. The Golden Bulls took an eight-point lead, 12-4, before a layup from Hope Toliver gave the Trojans a push in the final three minutes of the first quarter. The Layup from Toliver spurred an 11-8 run for UMO that pull the Trojans back within five points, as the score sat 20-15 at the end of the first.

JCSU kept hold of their seven to ten point lead throughout the early half of the second quarter as the score sat 31-21 until the three-minute mark when Mount Olive made a pair of free throws courtesy of Fields. The free throws from Fields jumpstarted a 7-0 run for UMO that pulled them within three of JCSU, 31-28, with 1:47 before the halftime horn. The Golden Bulls closed out the half on a 9-3 run taking a 40-31 lead into halftime. 

Mount Olive came out of the break scoring the first three points of the half and went on an 8-4 run pulling back within five of the Golden Bulls, 44-39. JCSU remained under control and reopened a 10 point lead and continued to break away from the Trojans as they held a 16-point lead, 63-47, with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter. In the final minute of the third, Mount Olive scored four points to trail Johnson C. Smith 63-51.

UMO came within five points of JCSU following a jumper by Kiara Jackson at the 3:35 mark, but the Golden Bulls reclaimed their 10 point lead and held on for the rest of the game to win 79-65.

The Trojans were led by Azariah Fields, Kiara Jackson, and Ivanda Hudjakova who scored 36 of the Trojans 65 points. Fields led the way with 20 points while Jackson added 15 and Hudjakova 11. Five Trojans tallied four rebounds apiece in Fields, Hudjakova, Jackson, Hope Toliver, and Sherry Johnson. Fields collected three assists and made four steals to lead the stat columns. 

The Golden Bulls were led by Malia Rivers with 19 points and Kensey Ferguson with 13. Aubrianna Bonner led with 12 rebounds and seven assists.

The critical moment of the game came in the third quarter when the Golden Bull took a 16-point lead over the Trojans. The gap ended up being too much for Mount Olive to overcome.

Mount Olive will hit the road for a midweek exhibition game against the Division I Seahawks of the University of North Carolina - Wilmington in Wilmington, NC. UMO and UNCW square off for a 7 PM tipoff. Fans who cannot make it to the game can watch on Flohoops or follow along on live stats here. Fans interested in attending can purchase their tickets here.