Lakeisha Monroe scored 19 of her career-high 32 points in the first half and Helen Moore added 24 points as Mount Olive defeated Barton 99-86 in Conference Carolinas women’s basketball Thursday at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans reached their highest single-game point total of the season, coming within one point of reaching the century mark since the first round of the 2006 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Tournament. The win, Mount Olive’s fourth in its last five games, moves the Trojans in a tie with Barton for third place in the conference standings.
Mount Olive (9-8 overall, 7-3 Conference Carolinas) fell behind 10-2 and still trailed by eight points nearly six minutes into the contest. Helen Moore’s basket tied the game at 22-22 and Monroe’s three-pointer with 9:21 left in the first half gave the Trojans their first lead of the game.
Barton (9-6, x7-3) regained the lead, which changed hands nine times in a span of less than five minutes. Keshaun Mozee’s three-pointer with 4:26 remaining put Mount Olive back on top 37-35 and the Trojans led the remainder of the half. Monroe hit her third three-pointer of the half and Moore converted a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left to build the lead to 51-44.
Mount Olive had a chance to play for the last shot, but Esty Flores stole a pass and Sara Fleming hit a basket just before the buzzer to pull Barton within 51-46 at halftime.
Sierra Medeiros scored on Mount Olive’s first two possessions and Monroe and Brittney Robich connected on back-to-back three-pointers as the Trojans built the lead to 63-49 with 16:18 remaining. Fleming scored the game’s next five points to cut the Trojans’ advantage to single digits, but Tomeka Prichard stopped Barton’s run with a three-pointer and capped a 13-3 Trojan run with another three-pointer to extend Mount Olive’s lead to 78-59 with 9:14 left to play.
The lead grew to as many 23 points after Monroe’s three-point play with 4:15 remaining made the scored 89-66. Barton got as close as 10 points in the final two minutes, but Moore hit a pair of fastbreak layups to end the Bulldogs’ comeback.
Monroe was 10-for-15 from the field, including 4-for-6 from three-point range to become the first Trojan women’s basketball player to eclipse the 30-point mark since Latoria Harvey scored 33 points against Pfeiffer January 10, 2005. Monroe also recorded six rebounds and five assists. Prichard finished with 10 points, while Keona Corley added nine points, eight assists and five steals.
The win was Mount Olive’s second in a row over Barton, but the Trojans’ first over the Bulldogs at Kornegay Arena since a 73-59 victory January 20, 2003.
Esty Flores helped spark Barton’s late rally, scoring 13 of her 29 points in the final three minutes, including 10 consecutive Bulldog points. Fleming added 21 points and Kim Butts finished with 10 points. Flores recorded a game-high seven steals.
Mount Olive concludes its three-game homestand Saturday as the Trojans play host to Queens in Conference Carolinas action. Mount Olive won the first meeting 85-80 at Charlotte, N.C., in November. Tip-off is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena. Barton travels to conference leader Anderson Saturday at 5:30 p.m.