HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Shequanta McGee and Brittany Miller shared game-high honors with 14 points apiece as Mount Olive overcame slow starts in each half for a 62-51 win over Coker in Conference Carolinas women’s basketball Wednesday at Hartsville, S.C. Lotta Aaltonen (Rauma, Finland) and Henna Koponen (Vantaa, Finland) led Coker with 10 points apiece and both players recorded double-doubles for the Cobras. Helen Moore added a double-double for Mount Olive.
Coker (2-9 overall, 1-5 Conference Carolinas) built an early 6-1 lead and held Mount Olive (5-6, 4-2) without a field goal for more than six minutes into the game. Miller’s short baseline jumper with 13:56 left in the first half accounted for Mount Olive’s first field goal of the game and also gave the Trojans their first lead at 7-6. Coker regained the lead on a steal and a pair of baskets by AG Stanciauskaite (Silute, Lithuania) as the lead changed hands five times in five minutes.
Megan Thomas’ (Creeskill, N.J) basket with 7:45 left in the half broke a 15-15 tie and put Coker back on top, but Mount Olive came back with six unanswered points to take the lead for the remainder of the half. After the Cobras pulled within a point, Meaghan Vanderhorst connected on a pair of three-pointers during a 10-0 Mount Olive run to give the Trojans their biggest lead of the half at 31-20 with 3:05 remaining. But Thomas hit a jumper with 90 seconds left to end Mount Olive’s run and found Stanciauskaite underneath the basket in the final minute as Coker closed within 31-24 at the half.
Both teams shot under 40 percent in the first half and no player had more than six points in the first 20 minutes.
Coker limited Mount Olive to five points in the first eight-plus minutes of the second half as Koponen’s basket pulled the Cobras within 36-33. But Mount Olive’s full-court press led to a 6-0 run in a span of 58 seconds and Miller’s first three-pointer of the season pushed the lead back to double digits at 47-35 with 9:05 left in the contest.
Joanna Tyndall’s (Dunn, N.C.) basket with 6:17 remaining brought the margin back to single digits, but Miller hit another three-pointer for Mount Olive and McGee’s floater with 3:48 left to play gave the Trojans their biggest lead at 55-41. Coker got as close as nine points in the final 90 seconds, but Mount Olive went on to build the lead back to 14.
Coker outrebounded Mount Olive 42-31 as Aaltonen pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and Koponen added 10 boards. But the Cobras committed 26 turnovers and were 20-for-61 from the floor (32.8 percent).
Moore finished with 11 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for Mount Olive. Vanderhorst added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Andrea Jones led all players with four assists. The Trojans were held to 37.3 percent shooting (22-for-59), but were 12-for-14 from the free throw line.
Coker returns to action Saturday as the Cobras travel to Banner Elk, N.C., to take on Lees-McRae in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Tip-off is 2 p.m. Mount Olive travels to Due West, S.C., Saturday at 2 p.m. in Conference Carolinas action.