by Cory Guinn
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – In the team's regular season finale, the Barton women's basketball team fell 83-80 to rival University of Mount Olive on Friday night in Kornegay Arena.
Barton (17-11, 14-8) fell behind early in the first quarter of play as Mount Olive (21-6, 18-4) built an 11-4 lead over the game's opening four minutes. The Lady Bulldogs closed the gap to a three-point deficit midway through, but the two sides traded baskets down the stretch as UMO led 25-19 after one quarter.
The Trojans opened the second quarter on a 7-3 run to extend its lead to a 10-point advantage until junior Karimah Dean buried back-to-back shots to tie the score at 38-all with 2:21 to play in the first half. Mount Olive answered with consecutive baskets of its own and carried a 42-40 lead into intermission after Barton's Alonna Terrell made a jump shot with seven seconds on the clock.
Mount Olive led for the entirety of the third quarter and for much of the fourth until a layup by senior JerBria Smith with 1:53 remaining gave Barton a 76-75 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs and Trojans alternated made baskets on the next five possessions, with UMO's Daria Simmons giving her team a one-point lead with a made jump shot with 18 seconds to play. Ni'Ya Styles made consecutive free throw attempts in the final five seconds of play to go ahead by three points and seal the win.
Styles and Simmons combined for 48 of Mount Olive's total points, scoring 27 and 21, respectively. The Trojans shot 50.8 percent from the floor, while holding Barton to a 44.6 percent shooting performance.
Smith led the BC offense with a career-high 18 points in 25 minutes off of the bench, as Dean followed with 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Kianna Wynn had her sixth straight double-double and 18th of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while junior Tatyana Jackson totaled 11 points to round out the double-digit scorers for Barton.
Barton's season will continue with a Conference Carolinas Tournament Quarterfinal game on Monday, Feb. 27 in Wilson Gymnasium. The No. 4 seed Lady Bulldogs will play host to No. 5 North Greenville University with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.