Mount Olive fends off Patriots of Francis Marion 67-59

Jada Bacchus versus Francis Marion. (Photo by James Benson)
Jada Bacchus versus Francis Marion. (Photo by James Benson)

MOUNT OLIVE, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive women's basketball team defeated the Patriots of Francis Marion University 67-59 on Saturday afternoon at Kornegay Arena in Mount Olive, NC. Mount Olive improves to 5-1 overall while Francis Marion falls to 4-1. 

Francis Marion got on the scoreboard first and took an early 9-2 lead over Mount Olive in the opening 2:30 minutes of play. UMO pulled within two points, 11-9 as the clock approached the 4:30 mark following a pair of free throws from Ivanda Hudjukova. The Patriots went on a 7-0 run taking an 18-9 lead with 2:16 left in the opening quarter. UMO scored the last two baskets of the opening quarter to trail 18-13 at the horn. 

FMU connected on a layup 61 seconds into the second but that was the only score of the second half until Makayla Kimble made a jump shot with 6:32 to play ending the scoring drought for either team. The Patriots opened up a nine-point lead, 26-17, at the 3:36 mark, but the Trojans closed the gap in the final minutes to trail 31-27 at halftime. 

UMO came out of the half on a 6-2 run tying the score at 33 all following a layup from Hope Toliver. The teams traded baskets back and forth with the score tying at 35 and 37 all before Mount Olive took a four-point lead as a pair of Makayla's, Makayla Kimble and Makayla Nichols, converted both free throws. FMU tried to tie the score a couple of times but UMO managed to hold a two-point lead, 47-45, at the end of the third quarter. 

The Patriots steamed their way back to knot the score up at 53 all halfway through the fourth quarter (5:03). Over the next three minutes, Mount Olive went on a 7-2 run that put the Trojans ahead 60-55 with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Nichols hit a jumper to open the spread to seven points in UMO's favor but the Patriots responded with a jumper of their own at 58 seconds on the clock to pull within five points 62-57. The Trojans closed out the game on a 5-2 run scoring their last five points from free throws to defeat the scrappy Patriots 67-59.

The Trojans were led by Hope Toliver with 16 points and Jada Bacchus who collected her first double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Azariah Fields also was at the top of the stats categories with 14 points and a team-high seven assists.

The Patriots were led by Kiana Adderton with 24 points and 12 rebounds for her own double-double. Zaria Woods tallied eight points and eight rebounds, while Tatyana McClaney seven to round out the top-three scorers for the Patriots. 

The critical moment of the game came in a three-minute window of the fourth quarter when UMO took a five-point lead following a 7-2 run that put the Trojans ahead 60-55.

Mount Olive takes to the road for a game at Converse College on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The Trojans and Valkyries face off at 6 PM in Spartanburg, SC in the midweek Conference Carolinas contest.