TROJAN NOTEBOOK: Conference Carolinas rivals split league tilt

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One University of Mount Olive basketball team continues to chase perfection, while the other is experiencing a frustrating, mid-conference plunge.

Azariah Fields played all 40 minutes and tickled the twine for 21 points as the Trojan women remained unbeaten with a 61-53 triumph over UNC Pembroke inside Kornegay Arena last Monday.

The Trojan men endured a 95-66 loss to the league-leading Braves, the nation’s top-ranked rebounding team. Alan Treakle collected 18 points for UMO, which dropped its third straight league contest.

Fields almost pulled off a triple-double with seven defensive rebounds and eight assists.

Sherry Johnson provided 15 points and eight rebounds. Ivanda Hudjakova, who fouled out, contributed nine points and three rebounds. Laila Harris supplied five points and four rebounds.

The Trojans rose to 11-0 overall.

Short-handed due to COVID protocols, the UMO men installed a new game plan just hours before tipoff and it worked for one half.

The Trojans tied the game at 44-44 just after intermission and slowly fizzled out. The Braves reeled off 16 consecutive points and UMO never recovered.

“We missed those three straight threes and that broke our back,” Trojans head coach Joey Higginbotham said. “They got out in transition and scored. They’re a very good team and our margin of error last night was extremely small coming off our fourth game in eight days.

“It was a perfect storm for us. We ran out of gas and they started making shots against our zone. We kind of picked our poison there.”

UNCP shot a blistering 61.3% from the floor and owned an eye-popping 38-13 advantage on the glass.

Matthias Caver added 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Trojans. Darius Spragley (11 points), Javian Cannady (nine points) and Jeremiah Phifer (eight points) scratched in the scorebook.

Schraudner picked

University of Mount Olive freshman Tristan Schraudner has been selected national libero of the week by offtheblock.com.

Schraudner collected 17 digs with just one reception error during the Trojans’ five-set, season-opening triumph over Division I George Mason University on Jan. 15.

UMO began an eight-game road swing Tuesday at in-state rival Queens University of Charlotte.

Trojans cruise

CHARLOTTE – University of Mount Olive recorded just one attack error in the fourth set during its 25-20, 25-13, 22-25, 25-19 triumph over in-state men’s volleyball rival Queens University-Charlotte.

Oliver Merritt dished out 42 assists for the Trojans, who travel to 2021 NCAA runner-up Brigham Young University on Thursday.

Tobi Azeez collected 18 kills, while Justin Gregory and Pedro Gonzalez notched 11 kills apiece. Gonzalez and Azeez combined for 10 blocks.

UMO held the Royals to a .134 hitting percentage.

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