Tamara Nesmith scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half as Mount Olive rallied from 11 points down for a 56-53 victory over King in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Bristol, Tenn. Nesmith also pulled down 14 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season.
Mount Olive (14-8 overall, 10-8 Conference Carolinas) trailed by 10 at halftime and faced its biggest deficit at 37-26 with 17:52 left in the game. Joneiqua Gary triggered a 9-0 Trojan run with her second three-pointer of the second half and Mount Olive stayed within single digits the rest of the way.
King (12-10, 8-10) led 50-43 after Bonnie Durrett hit a pair of free throws with 6:15 left to play. Gary hit another three and ignited an 11-0 run to give Mount Olive the lead for good. Nesmith's layup broke a 50-50 tie and she completed the scoring run with another layup to give the Trojans a 54-50 lead with exactly three minutes remaining.
King pulled within a point as Stephanie Brantley hit a three-pointer with 39 seconds left. The Tornado had to commit three fouls before Mount Olive was in the one-and-one. Alexandra Silva hit both ends to extend the Trojans' lead to three. A King three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
In the first half, Gary broke a 10-10 tie with the first of her four three-pointers. Mount Olive led by as many as seven before King went on a 12-0 run to take a 22-17 lead with 5:38 remaining before halftime. King scored the final six points of the half as Mikki Oliver's basket with four seconds left gave the Tornado a 33-23 lead at the break.
Gary finished with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting, while Jasmine McDonald added eight points and 11 rebounds. Rebounds keyed Mount Olive's comeback as the Trojans outrebounded the Tornado 26-13 in the second half.
Durrett led King with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Belmont, N.C., to take on Belmont Abbey in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Mount Olive won the first meeting 63-56 at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by Trojan men's basketball at Belmont Abbey.