Mount Olive led by as many as nine points in the second half, but 21-4 scoring run proved to be the difference as the Trojans suffered their first loss of the season, falling to Coker 78-64 in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Hartsville, S.C. Tamara Nesmith led the Trojans with 21 points.
Mount Olive (6-1 overall, 4-1 CC) matched its biggest lead of the game on Nesmith's layup with 9:19 remaining. A jumper by Coker's Angie Lawrence and a three-point play by Autumn Lau quickly brought the Cobras back within four. Coker (4-2, 2-1 CC) then turned the momentum swing into a 20-4 run that gave the team the lead for good.
Coker shot 50 percent from the field and made 19-21 free throws in the second half to bolster the rally.
The Trojans never trailed until the decisive run, despite struggling from the field. Mount Olive forced 10 Cobra turnovers before intermission and grabbed 10 offensive rebounds. The Trojans raced out to a 7-2 lead behind jumpers from Kirksten Mitchell and Alyssa Luebs. The visitors led by as much as eight several times in the first half, the last time following a Nesmith three-point play.
Mount Olive took a 35-30 lead into the locker room at halftime, then continued to maintain a three-eight-point cushion during the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Nesmith added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals; while Mitchell finished with 11 points and Luebs with 11 points and six rebounds. Jasmine McDonald tallied seven points, six rebounds and five steals.
Amber and Autumn Lau, who finished with a game-high 24 points, scored 19 of their team's final 34 points.
The Trojans' 6-0 start was the program's longest winning streak to start a season since Mount Olive reclassified to NCAA Division II in 1995.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Brevard in a non-conference match-up. Tip-off is 5 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.