Alexandra Silva scored a season-high 20 points, but it wasn't enough as Mount Olive suffered its first home loss of the season, falling to nationally 22nd-ranked Limestone 76-62 in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena.
Mount Olive (12-4 overall, 8-4 CC) erased a halftime deficit when Tamara Nesmith made a layup from a Jasmine McDonald pass 2:20 into the second half. The Trojans managed just one basket over the next four minutes as the Saints too command.
The Trojans narrowed the lead to 11 by the end of the contest, but got no closer. Limestone (14-2, 11-1) made 13-of-16 free throws and shot 47 percent from the field after halftime to keep its distance.
Mount Olive got off to a quick start thanks to three-pointers from Silva and Joneiqua Gary. The 6-1 lead did not last as the Trojans were held scoreless for more than five minutes. By halftime, there were four ties and eight lead changes.
The Trojans held Limestone to just 27-percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes. By intermission, the Trojans were building up big rebounding numbers. Nesmith and Luebs had nine apiece by halftime. Luebs (14) and McDonald (10) both finished in double-figures.
Silva scored 12 points in the second half. It marked the fourth time this season she has reached double figures in points and tops the 17-point effort in her Mount Olive debut against St. Augustine's November 9.
Nesmith added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Kirksten Mitchell added 12 points off the bench.
Stephanie Hayes led four Saints in double figures with 19 points.
Mount Olive returns to action Thursday night when Barton travels to Kornegay Arena for a 5:30 p.m. start.