Mount Olive scored 27 points on 26 King turnovers, 19 of those points coming in the first half. The hosts jumped out to an early 9-2 lead with freshman center Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.) scoring the team's first six points of the game. Ahead 11-5, Mount Olive retaliated with a 10-0 run on four consecutive turnovers, all leading to Trojan scoring possessions and a 15-11 score. The Lady Tornado trailed by as many as nine in the first half but trimmed the lead to three heading into the locker room when junior guard Mikki Oliver (Hampton, Tenn.) hit a three from the left wing and a mid-range jumper in the final two minutes of the half.
King (1-11, 1-3) fell behind by 10 early in the second half but again battled back to bring the deficit to within a basket before Mount Olive went on their final run to close the deal. After Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va.) hit a layup along the baseline to cut the lead to three, 51-48, MOC scored six unanswered points on three King turnovers to take a 57-48 advantage with just under six minutes to go. The late push made the difference as both teams exchanged buckets to the final horn and a 65-59 decision.
Three Lady Tornado hit double digit scoring totals, led by Brooke Johnson's 15 points. The Roan Mountain, Tenn. native notched her second 15-point game in a row on 3-of-8 shooting and hitting all six of her free throw attempts. Alley Sprouse added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field with six rebounds to her line.
Kelly Jackson led the team with 10 rebounds while freshman Tia Keitt (Dallas, Ga.) rounded out the trio of double digit scorers with 11 points.
Tamara Nesmith led the Trojans with 18 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Her fellow six-footer, Alyssa Luebs, finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
King will play their next two games on the road against Conference Carolinas opponents Belmont Abbey (Jan. 10) and Coker (Jan. 14). The Lady Tornado and the Crusaders will tip off at 5:30 p.m. from Belmont, North Carolina.