Women's Basketball Defeats Converse 87-34 In Conference Opener

Women's Basketball Defeats Converse 87-34 In Conference Opener

Kirksten Mitchell triggered a 14-0 scoring run with a pair of three-pointers 19 seconds apart as Mount Olive defeated Converse 87-34 in Conference Carolinas women's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Mitchell scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half, while Tamara Nesmith led four Trojans in double figures with 21 points and Alexandra Silva flirted with a triple-double with 16 points, eight steals and six assists.

Silva scored the first five points of the game on a three-pointer and layup in the first minute of the contest and Tamara Nesmith's layup gave Mount Olive (2-0 overall, 1-0 Conference Carolinas) a 9-0 lead with 16:49 left in the first half. Converse (0-1, 0-1) got on the scoreboard 37 seconds later on Avery Winchester's layup.

Kirstin Mobley had steals on three consecutive possessions in a span of 64 seconds to help the Trojans build a 16-4 lead with 12:56 remaining. Katy Vaughn answered with a three-pointer for the Valkyries before Mount Olive would come back with its scoring run.

Mitchell hit a three-pointer with 12:25 left and after a Converse turnover, Mitchell hit again from the left wing. A pair of free throws by Ty Wallace and Gabby Griffin's fastbreak layup off of Silva's steal completed Mount Olive's run of 14 unanswered points and gave the Trojans a 30-7 lead with 9:23 left in the half.

The margin stayed above 20 points for the remainder of the half and Jasmine McDonald's two free throws with 45 seconds left gave Mount Olive a 45-19 halftime lead.

McDonald and Silva connected on three-pointers on Mount Olive's first two possessions of the second half and the margin ballooned past the 40-point mark after Nesmith's three-point play with 13:31 remaining gave the Trojans a 64-23 advantage. Mount Olive held Converse scoreless over the final seven-plus minutes of the game.

McDonald finished with 11 points to go with five assists, while Alyssa Luebs shared game-high honors with 10 rebounds. Mobley tallied a career-high five steals and Mount Olive forced 37 Converse turnovers.

Samira Gillcrese recorded a double-double for Converse with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Vaughn and Brooke Garrison dished out five assists apiece for the Valkyries.

Mount Olive gets one day off, then returns to action Monday as the Trojans play host to North Greenville in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena and will be followed by Trojan men's basketball vs. North Greenville.