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The Barton College women’s basketball team assured itself of no worse than the No. 2 seed for the upcoming NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas tournament by pulling away over the final 5:29 to hand archrival University of Mount Olive an 80-67 loss inside Wilson Gym on Thursday night.
Barton reached the 20-win plateau against five losses and played unselfishly in doing so. The Lady Bulldogs made 28 of 57 shots for 49.1% accuracy and assisted on 19 of those baskets. Four of five starters finished in double figures, with junior Shanika Peterkin adding 23 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Summer Baer, in 38 minutes, was 5 for 7 from 3-point range with sophomore Jami Tham-Morrobel adding 20 and 11 rebounds for her own double-double. Junior Michelle Gainey added 12 points.
The Lady Bulldogs pulled away late with the aid of their defense and the free-throw line. Leading 63-59, sophomore Akira Wiggins found Gainey for a layup before getting the ball to Peterkin for a second lay-in. Up by eight, Tham-Morrobel stole the ball from UMO’s Kelly Post. On the ensuing possession, Gainey sank a jumper to put Barton up 69-59 with 2:29 to play.
Mount Olive (17-7, 14-6 CC) pulled within five on a three-point play by Jada Bacchus with 1:45 showing, but Tham-Morrobel grabbed an offensive rebound and found Khayla Mitchell behind the 3-point line, who knocked it down to put Barton up eight with 1:28 left. UMO got no closer the rest of the way, as Barton rebounded their archrivals by a 41-31 margin. The Lady Trojans made 25 of 64 shots from the floor, good for just a 39.1% clip.
Bacchus led Mount Olive with 26 points.
Barton faces Southern Wesleyan in its home finale Saturday before closing the regular season at Converse on Tuesday.
MOUNT OLIVE (67)
Fields 16, Bacchus 26, Post 6, Toliver 8, Hudjakova 4, Nichols 4, Kimble 1, Johnson 2.
Wiggins 4, Gainey 12, Peterkin 23, Baer 15, Tham-Morrobel 20, Mitchell 6.
Score by quarters:
Mount Olive 17 16 23 11 — 67
Barton 17 15 24 24 — 80