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MOUNT OLIVE — Behind some good, old-fashioned rebounding and defense, a great night at the foul line and the hot hand of senior guard Dinah Neal, the Barton College women’s basketball team posted its fourth straight win and inched up in the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas standings Wednesday evening.
With their 88-71 conquest of host Mount Olive at Kornegay Arena, the Lady Bulldogs rose to 14-3 overall and, at 7-3 in league games, jumped ahead of the Lady Trojans (10-5, 6-3 CC) into third place.
Neal matched her career high with 27 points, 19 coming in the second half to help the Lady Bulldogs stay comfortably ahead after taking a 42-28 lead into halftime. Neal was 7 of 18 from the floor and 13 of 14 from the foul line, where the Lady Bulldogs made 23-of-26 attempts for 88.5-percent accuracy. Mount Olive only managed to get to the line eight times, making six.
Fellow senior Kianna Wynn scored 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting, extending her season-long streak of double-figure scoring. Wynn moved into third place on the Lady Bulldogs career scoring table with 1,826 points.
Sophomore Shanika Peterkin recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds, part of a 39-rebound night for Barton. The Lady Bulldogs pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, leading to 18 second-chance points, while Mount Olive managed just 23 total rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs darted out to a 7-0 start and slowly built as much as a 17-point lead in the second quarter. The Lady Trojans couldn’t cut the margin to a single digit after the 6:37 mark of the second.
Barton shot 52.5 percent (32 of 61) from the floor, its second best shooting percentage behind the 62.5 percent in the season opener. However, the Lady Bulldogs hit just one of their six 3-point attempts.
Forward Felecity Havens fired in a game-high 34 points on 14-of-28 shooting to lead Mount Olive.
Barton will visit Emmanuel on Saturday in Franklin Springs, Georgia, the third of five straight road games for the Lady Bulldogs, who play just three of their remaining 10 regular-season games at home.