MOUNT OLIVE – Despite a combined 45 combined from seniors Michael Brown and Trayvon Ferrell on Nov. 11, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball program was edged late 81-76 versus No. 2 nationally-ranked Augusta in the season-opener at the 57th annual Pickle Classic hosted at Kornegay Arena.
Brown scored a game-high 26 points while shooting 8-16 from the field and going a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line. He also added eight assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block in 39 minutes.
Ferrell finished with 19 points on 6-10 shooting, including 4-6 from beyond the arc. He tallied five rebounds and a steal in 30 minutes off the bench. Freshman Shane Peterson registered nine points, two rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes.
In the first half, the Jaguars established an 7-5 advantage in the opening minutes before going on a 12-2 run spanning over five minutes to take a 19-7 lead with 12:27 left. Mount Olive halted the run with a pair of free throws from Ferrell, as Augusta managed to build the advantage to 32-14 at the 7:02-mark. Senior Cole Johnson answered with a three-pointer, but the Jaguars continued to score in the paint and held a 39-20 lead with 2:34 remaining. The Trojans closed the half with a 7-2 rally after Ferrell and freshman Ryan Roberts knocked down three-pointers to trim the margin to 41-27.
Mount Olive wasted little time cutting into the deficit in the second half with a 15-7 run led by Ferrell with 11 points to pull to within 48-42. Following a pull-up jumper from Brown, the gap was closed to 48-44 with 13:55 left in the contest. Augusta tallied six of the following eight points to extend the advantage to 54-46, but UMO answered with an 11-4 run behind six points from Peterson to trim the deficit to one-point, 58-57 with 8:00 remaining.
Both sides traded the next 10 points before the Jaguars scored eight straight to take a 72-63 lead with under three minutes left. The Trojans used a 7-2 run with a three-pointer from Roberts to cut the advantage to 74-70 with 1:12 to go. Augusta would ultimately hold on by sinking five of six free-throws to secure an 81-76 victory.
UMO finished the contest shooting 38.6 percent (22-57) from the floor while converting 21-26 from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Jaguars posted a .516 field goal percentage (33-64) and shot just 11 three-pointers in the game. Augusta held a 37-31 rebounding advantage and scored 58 points in the paint. UMO totaled a game-high 28 points off the bench in the loss.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics