Second-Half Spurt Powers Trojans Past Elizabeth City State 77-50

Second-Half Spurt Powers Trojans Past Elizabeth City State 77-50

Joneiqua Gary scored 13 of her 18 points during a 20-4 run midway through the second half as Mount Olive turned a two-possession game into a 21-point lead on its way to a 77-50 victory over Elizabeth City State in non-conference women's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Kirksten Mitchell scored a game-high 19 points, Andrea Jones added 17 points, and both players came within one rebound of a double-double as the Trojans outrebounded the Vikings 52-37.

Mount Olive (2-2) saw a 14-point second-half lead cut down to 47-42 after DaShera Boone hit a short jumper for Elizabeth City State with 12:30 left in the contest. Gary started the Trojans' game-breaking run with a layup and a three-pointer as the lead returned to double digits.

After another layup by Gary, she and Mitchell connected on three-pointers 24 seconds apart as Mount Olive scored 12 unanswered points. The margin reached the 20-point mark for the first time after Jasmine McDonald hit a pair of free throws with 6:08 remaining.

Elizabeth City State (1-4) snapped a five-minute scoring drought on Ya'Shonti Bridgers' basket, but Gary answered with a three-pointer off the dribble to give the Trojans a 67-46 lead with 5:43 left to play. The margin never fell below 18 points the rest of the way.

In the first half, three-pointers by Jones and Gary helped Mount Olive break away from a two-point lead, and Ty Wallace's putback with 5:50 left gave the Trojans their first double-digit lead at 25-15. Katie Paschal finished fast breaks with a layup and a three-point play, and Mitchell's steal set up Jones with a fastbreak layup as Mount Olive took its biggest lead of the half at 33-19 with 2:14 remaining.

The Trojans still held a 14-point lead in the final minute after Mitchell hit a pair of technical free throws. Elizabeth City State's Mariah Powell was fouled on a three-point attempt with 21 seconds left and hit all three free throws as the Vikings pulled within 36-25 at halftime.

Katie Paschal added 13 points off the bench as four Trojans finished in double figures. Jones, Mitchell and Wallace pulled down five offensive boards apiece and Mount Olive finished with 25 offensive rebounds for 21 second chance points.

Jasmine Boyd and Derricka Henry led Elizabeth City State with 13 points apiece, while Bridgers added nine points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Vikings.

Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans play host to Saint Augustine's in a special Thanksgiving weekend contest. Tip-off is 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.