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May 28, 2024 10:04 pm

Mount Olive men drop conference opener

MOUNT OLIVE – After surrendering 61 points in the second half on Nov. 30, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team fell by a 101-88 margin versus Chowan in its conference opener at Kornegay Arena.

With the loss, the Trojans fell to 2-6 this season behind an 0-1 mark in league play. The series is split 4-4 over the last eight meetings between the sides with the Hawks securing their first road win at Mount Olive since 2018. Meanwhile, Chowan recorded a third straight win and improved to 3-3 overall with a 1-1 record in conference action.

Senior Michael Brown delivered another stellar performance with 21 points on seven of 13 from the field while converting seven of eight from the free-throw line. He added eight assists, six rebounds, one steal and a block in 37 minutes. Brown has tallied four 20-point performances this season and registered his sixth game with at least seven assists.

Fellow senior Trayvon Ferrell registered 16 points on five of eight shooting with two rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. Freshman Shane Peterson finished with 15 points, two rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes, while senior Kaeleb Carter notched a season-high 15 points while tallying two rebounds and a steal in 16 minutes off the bench. Senior Cole Johnson added 13 points on five of 11 shots with six rebounds, one steal and one block in 30 minutes.

Chowan opened the contest with an early 5-2 advantage in the opening minutes, but Mount Olive responded with five of six field goals, including three treys, to take a 17-9 advantage with 14:43 left in the half. The Hawks hit back-to-back layups to halt the rally before the Trojans mounted a 10-2 run, led by Carter with eight points, to extend the lead to 27-15. Chowan slowly chipped away at the deficit before tying the game at 38 with just over a minute left in the first half. The Hawks took the lead with a layup with 54 seconds remaining before UMO scored four straight points to hold a 42-40 advantage at halftime.

In the second half, Johnson converted a three-pointer in the initial 13 seconds of the half before both sides traded points for the next four minutes. The Trojans went on a 10-2 run to establish a 70-65 lead with 11:25 left, but Chowan scored seven consecutive points to regain the lead, 72-70. Ferrell answered with four straight points to put UMO ahead before the Hawks went on a 16-4 run with a trio of three-pointers to take an 88-78 advantage with just under four minutes left. Chowan would convert five of six shots over the final four minutes to secure the victory.

UMO finished the contest shooting 50 percent (29 of 58) from the floor while converting 20 of 23 (87 percent) from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Chowan posted a .533 field goal percentage (40 of 75), including making 24 of 35 (68.6 percent) from the field in the second half. The Hawks held a 39-26 rebounding advantage with 50 points in the paint, while the Trojans totaled 15 points off the bench.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics