MOUNT OLIVE – After shooting 66.7 percent from the floor in the second half, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team sealed a 95-88 win over Francis Marion on Jan. 18 in Conference Carolinas play at Kornegay Arena.
With the win, the Trojans claim back-to-back wins to improve to 6-12 this season with a 4-6 mark in conference action. Mount Olive has now secured three straight wins over Francis Marion and moved up in the league standings to eighth place. Meanwhile, the Patriots dropped a second straight game to fall to 10-6 overall with a 7-3 record in league play.
Senior guard Michael Brown had 23 points on nine of 13 from the field, including five of six from beyond the arc. He also delivered nine assists and two rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. Brown continues to rank among the top of the league in several statistical categories, including points per game, assists and three-point percentage.
Fellow senior Trayvon Ferrell registered a career-high 22 points on nine of 12 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists and two steals in 35 minutes. The Garner Magnet product collected his second 20-point game of the year and averages 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Freshman Colin Radcliffe posted a career-high 18 points on seven of 11 shots with two rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes off the bench. Teammate Shane Peterson tallied 11 points, seven rebounds, and two steals in 30 minutes.
UMO opened the contest by shooting seven of 12 from the floor with three treys to build an early 17-6 advantage over the initial six minutes of the first half. Francis Marion countered by scoring eight of the next 10 points to cut the deficit to 19-14 before eventually closing the gap to 23-21 with 9:19 remaining. The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes with the Trojans hitting three consecutive three-pointers to stay ahead, 32-30. The Patriots then used a 10-2 run to take a 40-34 advantage. With FMU holding a 43-37 lead with 1:58 left in the half, sophomore Isaiah Bridges hit a clutch three-pointer. The Patriots took a 48-42 advantage into halftime after hitting a layup with five seconds left.
In the second half, Mount Olive scored five unanswered in the opening minutes before Peterson nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 50 at the 17:45 mark. Francis Marion quickly stretched the lead back to 58-52 before UMO hit five of six shots, including a pair of threes from Radcliffe, to knot the game at 64. With just more than 10 minutes left in the game, the Trojans found their rhythm with nine straight points to regain the advantage by a 78-69 margin. Brown led the way down the stretch with seven of the following 13 points for UMO to extend the lead to 91-77 with 2:54 left. The Patriots answered back with an 11-0 run to cut the advantage to 91-88 with 31 seconds left before Ferrell hit four consecutive free throws to claim the win, 95-88.
UMO finished the contest shooting 57.1 percent (36 of 63) from the floor while converting 14 of 30 (46.7 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, Francis Marion shot 49.3 percent (33 of 67) and made 9 of 30 (30 percent) from beyond the arc. The Patriots held a 34-32 rebounding advantage with 48 points in the paint, while the Trojans totaled 30 points off the bench.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics