MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- The Mount Olive College women's basketball team built a 22-point halftime lead, outscoring Lees-McRae College by a 40-18 margin over the first 20 minutes en route to a 79-51 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday afternoon.
Mount Olive (11-3, 5-0 CC) continued its strong start to the conference season, shooting 47.8 percent from the floor on the afternoon while holding Lees-McRae (5-6, 1-4 CC) to a field goal percentage of 39 percent. The Bobcats posted a 46.9 percent clip from the floor in the second half, edging the Trojans by a 39-37 margin on the glass as Mount Olive converted 34 LMC turnovers into 37 points.
Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) led the way for the Bobcats with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, recording a game-high five steals to go along with three assists. Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Bobcats.
Tamara Nesmith paced the Trojans with game-highs of 17 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, knocking down 8-of-15 attempts from the floor. Jasmine McDonald and Andrea Jones each added 13 points, while Alyssa Luebs chipped in eight rebounds, six assists, and a game-high three blocks.
Mount Olive led wire-to-wire, scoring the game's first 15 points and opening an early 19-3 lead on a Luebs lay-in at the 14:04 mark. The Bobcats would respond with two quick buckets to cut the margin to 21-7, before the Trojans countered with a 19-11 run to close out the half and take a 40-18 lead into the intermission.
The Bobcats answered early in the second half, opening the period with a 15-8 run to cut the lead to 48-33 on a jumper by DeAnna Waters (Upper Marlboro, Md.) with 13:05 to play. Mount Olive recovered quickly, responding with a 28-9 surge over the next 10 minutes to put the game out of reach.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Monday when the Bobcats travel to Bristol, Tenn. to take on King College in a conference matchup at 5:30 p.m.
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