Trojans Fall To Division I UNC-Wilmington 83-63 In Women's Basketball Exhibition

Trojans Fall To Division I UNC-Wilmington 83-63 In Women's Basketball Exhibition

Freshman Ni'ya Styles scored all of her game-high 18 points from beyond the arc and Ty Wallace recorded a double-double, but a scoring run that started in the final minutes of the first half was the difference as University of Mount Olive fell to Division I UNC-Wilmington 83-63 in a women's basketball exhibition game Saturday at Wilmington, N.C. Wallace finished with 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Baskets by Wallace and Leah Graham staked Mount Olive to a 4-0 lead before UNC-Wilmington rallied to take a four-point lead of its own. Kiara Jones' basket with 9:58 left in the first half tied the game 16-16 and Gabby Griffin's three-pointer broke the tie.

UNC-Wilmington tied the game on Madison Raque's three-pointer, but Griffin answered with another three to trigger a 7-0 Trojan run. Wallace and Tomarrah Harris added jumpers to give Mount Olive its biggest lead of the half at 26-19 with 7:14 left before halftime.

After a pair of Seahawk free throws, Naqaiyyah Teague and Kelva Atkins turned inbound steals into layups to pull UNCW within 26-25 with 6:36 remaining. Styles' second three-pointer of the half halted the run and upped the lead to four. The 5-footer hit a three-pointer earlier in the half on her first collegiate shot attempt.

UNC-Wilmington went back on top 33-31 on Johanna McMillan's three-pointer, but Shy'lia Buie answered with a three of her own to give the Trojans a 34-33 lead with 3:34 remaining. Mount Olive would then be held scoreless until the final seconds of the half. UNCW hit 8-of-8 free throws and Atkins steal and layup capped a 12-0 run.

Jones hit a 10-foot jumper in the lane off an inbounds play to pull the Trojans within 45-36 at the break.

UNCW got the opening possession of the second half and Atkins' floater in the lane gave the Seahawks an 11-point lead. The margin stayed in double figures the remainder of the game and ballooned to as many as 29 points at 81-52 with 4:47 left to play.

Styles hit three 3-pointers in the final four-plus minutes as the Trojans ended the game on a 13-2 run, including the final 10 points of the contest. Trojan head coach Wendy Lee was excited over Styles' performance.

"She was fearless today, but I knew that going in," said Lee. "For her first real college game, I thought she handled it really well."

Griffin finished with 10 points for Mount Olive, while Arieal Johnson added eight points and seven rebounds. Anamaria Zjacic dished out a team-high five assists.

Atkins and McMillan led four Seahawks in double figures with 13 points apiece. Teague flirted with a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.

After the game, Lee told her team to focus on what to work on for the season and not to pay much attention to the final score.

"Today was to learn about ourselves," said Lee. "We played a good team and today's game helped us learn what we need to work on."

Mount Olive tips off its 2014-15 regular season next weekend as the Trojans travel to Charlotte, N.C., to compete in the Conference Carolinas/South Atlantic Conference Challenge, hosted by Queens University of Charlotte. The Trojans take on Catawba Friday at 6 p.m., then face tournament host Queens Saturday at 4 p.m.