University of Mount Olive rallied from a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, but the Trojans were outscored 13-5 over the final three-plus minutes of the contest and fell to Emmanuel College 66-60 in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Franklin Springs, Ga. The game was Mount Olive's first in two weeks and the Trojans' second straight conference loss after starting 3-0 in conference play.
Mount Olive (5-6 overall, 3-2 Conference Carolinas) trailed 53-47 with 5:37 left to play before jumpers by Felicity Havens, Kiara Jones and Rachel Fehl knotted the score. Daria Simmons, who led the Trojans with 10 points, sank a pair of free throws with 3:21 remaining to cap an 8-0 run and put Mount Olive on top 55-53.
Emmanuel (7-4, 3-2) tied the game on a basket by Avery Scarborough and the Lions took the lead for good when Timia Reynolds stole the ball and scored the go-ahead layup with 2:28 left. The lead grew to seven before Havens hit a three-pointer for Mount Olive with five seconds remaining. The Lions added a pair of free throws for the final score.
The Trojans led by as many as seven points after Simmons' basket capped a 7-0 run to start the second quarter and give Mount Olive a 20-13 lead with 6:43 left before halftime. Emmanuel rallied to tie the game, but Ni'ya Styles hit a three-pointer with 37 seconds left and added a jumper with six seconds remaining to give the Trojans a 31-27 halftime lead.
Mount Olive's lead grew to as many as eight as Simmons' steal led to a layup by Anamaria Zjacic to give the Trojans a 40-32 advantage with 7:18 left in the third quarter. The Trojans were held without a field for the next four minutes and Emmanuel took a 43-42 lead on Mikayla Trombley's three-pointer with 3:49 remaining. Baskets by Julie Gonzalez-Rodriguez and Zjacic put Mount Olive back on top 47-45 entering the fourth quarter.
Emmanuel scored the first eight points of the final period to regain the lead.
Jones came within one point and one rebound of her first collegiate double-double for Mount Olive. Fehl, Havens and Styles added eight points apiece for the Trojans.
Reynolds led all players with 19 points for Emmanuel.
Mount Olive returns to action next weekend as the Trojans travel to Upstate South Carolina for a pair of Conference Carolinas contests. The Trojans travel to nationally eighth-ranked Limestone College Friday, then head to North Greenville University Saturday. Tip-off for both games is 5:30 p.m.
Mount Olive plays its first home contest of 2016 January 13 against Emmanuel.