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November 28, 2023 7:08 am

Mount Olive edged late at Converse

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After yielding 40 points on nearly 60 percent shooting in the second half, the Trojans suffered a 77-71 loss at Converse in Conference Carolinas play on Dec. 3.

With the loss, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team dropped to 2-7 overall behind a 0-2 mark in conference action. The Valkyries earned their first-ever win over the Trojans in just the third meeting between the sides. Meanwhile, Converse improved to 3-5 this season with a 2-1 record in league play.

Senior Michael Brown led all players with 20 points on eight of 17 from the floor with four rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes of action. He registered his fifth 20-point performance of the year and ranks fourth in the conference in scoring with 19.1 points per game.

Freshman Shane Peterson finished with 11 points behind three treys while adding two rebounds, one assist and one steal in 31 minutes. Senior Trayvon Ferrell collected 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one block in 26 minutes. Freshman Ryan Roberts tallied nine points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.

The Trojans opened with a 20-5 run over the initial seven minutes of the contest after converting seven of 10 shots, including four from three-point range. Both teams traded baskets for the next four minutes, as UMO held a 26-10 advantage with 9:06 left in the half. Converse countered with a 16-3 rally to close the gap to 29-26 after knocking down seven of nine from the field. Brown answered with a pull-up jumper to halt the run before the Valkyries eventually trimmed the deficit to 36-34 with 2:10 left before the break. The Trojans finished the half with five more points to hold a 41-37 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Ferrell converted a layup in the initial minute before Converse took the lead 46-43 behind nine straight points. Mount Olive managed to reclaim the advantage with a 9-2 rally before the game was tied four times over the next five minutes. The Valkyries established a 67-64 lead on a pair of layups, but the Trojans answered with four consecutive points from Brown to hold a 68-67 advantage with 4:03 remaining. Converse went on a 10-3 run to finish the contest, including eight straight points, to seal the 77-71 victory.

UMO shot at a 44.1 percent clip (26 of 59) from the floor after going 10 of 26 (38.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Converse finished the game shooting 53.7 percent (29 of 54) and converted nine of 12 (75 percent) from three-point range. The Trojans held a 32-27 rebounding advantage and scored 18 second-chance points. The Valkyries finished with 38 points in the paint in the win.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics