MOUNT OLIVE – Behind four starters in double figures on Nov. 23, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team posted a 70-63 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in non-conference play at Kornegay Arena.
With the win, the Trojans improved to 2-4 this season and claimed their third straight win over the Bears dating back to 2010. The two sides met in the regular season for the first time in more than a decade with the last contest taking place on Nov. 21, 2011. Meanwhile, the Bears fell to 3-1 overall. They defeated Louisville in an exhibition to start the year.
Senior Cole Johnson recorded a game-high 17 points on five of nine shooting with four treys. He also added five rebounds, two assists and one steal in 33 minutes. Fellow senior Trayvon Ferrell finished with 15 points on four of six shots and converted seven of nine of the free-throw line with two rebounds in 26 minutes.
Freshman Shane Peterson tallied 12 points and made six of seven from the charity stripe with two rebounds and one block in 32 minutes. Senior Michael Brown totaled 11 points, six rebounds, six assists, one steal and a block in 35 minutes of action.
In the first half, the Trojans leaped out to an 11-2 advantage in the opening three minutes of the game on four of four shooting, led by Brown with six points. Lenoir-Rhyne countered with five straight points to close the gap to 15-13 with 12:41 left in the half. Brown answered with a layup to start a 12-5 UMO run to extend the lead to 27-18 with 7:17 left. The Bears responded by scoring eight of the following 10 points to trim the deficit to 29-26 with under three minutes left in the first half. The Trojans used a short 5-2 run to close the half and held a 34-28 lead at the break.
Mount Olive knocked down three of four from beyond the arc to begin the second half and stretched the lead to 43-30. Following a timeout, Lenoir-Rhyne used a 7-2 rally to cut into the deficit before freshman Ryan Roberts nailed a three-pointer with 12:44 left in the game to put the Trojans ahead 48-37.
The Bears continued to chip away at the lead, scoring eight of the following nine points to trail 49-45. Lenoir-Rhyne managed to close the gap to one point, 51-50 with 7:05 left, but Ferrell answered with a three-point play. Behind four different scorers, the Trojans built the advantage to 63-56 with under three minutes left in the game. The Bears stayed close at 66-63 with 1:03 remaining, but UMO converted its free-throws to claim the win.
UMO finished the contest shooting 45.7 percent (21 of 46) from the floor while converting 18 of 25 (72 percent) from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Lenoir-Rhyne shot 38.8 percent (19 of 49) and shot 23 of 28 (82.1 percent) from the free-throw line. The Trojans held a 34-28 rebounding advantage with 13 second-chance points. The Bears totaled 30 points in the paint and tallied 23 points off the bench.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics