MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - The Converse (8-13, 4-9 CC) basketball suffered a 98-66 loss at the hands of Mount Olive (9-13, 7-7 CC) on Wednesday evening inside Kornegay Arena. The Trojans used big runs over the span of the game to earn the conference victory.
Brianna James led the way for the Purple and Gold with a team-high 29 points on 12-of-20 from the floor, while also pulling down a Converse-best seven boards. Abigail Lewis joined James as the only other player in double-figures, pouring in 18 and grabbing six balls off the glass. The Valkyries were held to just five free throws on the afternoon, a season-low. Ni'Ya Styles turned in a game-high 33 points for the Trojans, who used a long range attack (11-22) to control the majority of the contest.
The early part of the contest was fairly competitive as Converse held a slim 10-7 lead with 6:46 remaining in the opening period. That lead quickly disappeared as Mount Olive used a huge 31-6 run over the remainder of the quarter to lead 38-16 after one. Styles tallied 19 points in the frame, including four shots from downtown.
With their collective backs against the wall the Valkyries turned up the defense in the second quarter and began to slowly chip away at the Trojans lead. With the score at 40-16, Converse reeled off 14 in a row to trim the deficit to 40-30 just three and a half minutes into the quarter. During the run James scored half of the team's points as she was able to get to the basket and knock down numerous shots. The remainder of the second was back-and-forth, but UMO was able to pad the lead just a bit before halftime, outscoring the Valkyries 13-9 and taking a 53-39 lead into the locker room.
Mount Olive rebuilt a 17-point lead (63-46) minutes into the second half, but Converse ripped off seven in a row to once again trim the margin to 10 (63-53). However, the Trojans gained control of the contest with a 12-0 run to end the third.
The fourth belonged to Mount Olive as the Trojans outscored the Valkyries 23-13 to finish the final margin at 32 (98-66).
Converse will be back in action on Saturday, February 3 as it travels to Belmont Abbey for a 6 p.m. tipoff with the Crusaders. The Valkyries will look to avenge a 71-58 loss to BAC just over two weeks ago.