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October 3, 2023 11:25 am

Mount Olive takes close win over Converse

MOUNT OLIVE – The Trojans featured five players in double-figures while senior Michael Brown dished out a career-high 14 assists in a 90-88 win over Converse on Jan. 16 at Kornegay Arena in Conference Carolinas play.

With the win, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball program snapped a three-game skid to improve to 5-12 overall with a 3-6 mark in conference action. The sides split the season series with each team winning at home while the Trojans hold a 3-1 all-time record against the Valkyries. Meanwhile, Converse dropped to 7-11 this season with a 5-5 record in league play.

Brown delivered a double-double with a team-high 18 points on six of 12 attempts while collecting a career-high 14 assists in 40 minutes on the court. The John Handley product eclipsed 100 assists for the fourth time in his career and is averaging 6.5 assists per game. Brown was recognized before the game alongside his family for achieving 1,000 career points earlier this season.

Senior Trayvon Ferrell finished with 14 points on seven of 12 shooting with eight rebounds and four steals in 29 minutes. Freshman Shane Peterson scored 14 points with two rebounds and one block in 30 minutes, while senior Kaeleb Carter also tallied 14 points, two assists and one steal in 22 minutes. Freshman Colin Radcliffe produced 11 points, two rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes.

The Valkyries established a quick 6-0 lead in the opening three minutes, but the Trojans responded with eight unanswered points to take an 8-6 advantage at the 15:44 mark. With the contest tied at 17 midway through the first half, UMO scored six of the next eight points to hold a 23-19 lead. Converse answered with five straight points before Mount Olive went on a 15-6 run with six players scoring during that stretch to take a 38-30 advantage. The Valkyries countered with a 10-2 rally to tie the contest at 40 with 1:08 left before the Trojans took a 46-43 lead into the break.

In the second half, Ferrell netted the initial six points as the Trojans maintained a 52-47 advantage. Following a three-pointer from Carter, Converse registered eight consecutive points to knot the game at 55 before the game was tied five more times over the next five-plus minutes. Mount Olive totaled eight of the following 11 points to increase the lead to 77-72. The Valkyries countered with four straight points, but Radcliffe and Peterson nailed back-to-back threes to extend the lead to 83-76 with 5:09 remaining. With UMO ahead 88-80 with 2:42 left, Converse cut the deficit to 88-85 with 16 seconds left before Brown hit a pair of free throws. Converse answered with a quick three-pointer with five seconds left before a block under the rim by Peterson was enough to seal the win.

UMO shot 53.1 percent (34 of 64) from the floor while going 16 of 34 (47.1 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, Converse finished the game shooting 52.8 percent (28 of 53) and converted 23 of 33 (69.7 percent) from the free-throw line. The Valkyries held a significant 40-24 rebounding advantage and scored 34 points in the paint, while the Trojans recorded 25 points off 18 forced turnovers.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics