MOUNT OLIVE – The Trojans featured five players in double figures and senior Michael Brown nearly achieved a triple-double on Jan. 28 in an 80-70 victory over North Greenville in Conference Carolinas play.
With the win, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team improved to 8-13 overall with a 6-7 mark in conference action. UMO has won four of its last five contests and sits eighth in the league standings with seven games left. Meanwhile, North Greenville dropped to 4-18 this season with a 2-12 record in league play.
Brown filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and two steals while playing all 40 minutes. He fell just short of a triple-double and would have been the first player to achieve the feat since head coach Dory Hines registered a triple-double against Pfeiffer. Brown continues to rank among the top 10 in the country with 134 assists this year.
Freshman Ryan Roberts led the team with 14 points on five of nine shooting with four treys. He added four rebounds, two assists and one steal in 27 minutes. Senior Trayvon Ferrell produced 13 points on five of 11 attempts with four rebounds in 18 minutes after battling foul trouble. Senior Kaeleb Carter delivered 12 points, while freshman Colin Radcliffe tallied 11 points, four rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes off the bench.
Mount Olive established an early 9-5 advantage over the opening four minutes of the game on a perfect four of four shooting with Brown and Ferrell combining for all nine points. The Crusaders stayed within striking distance before freshman Brent Randleman nailed a three-pointer to put the Trojans ahead 17-10 at the 11:59 mark. UMO stretched the lead to 26-19 with seven minutes left in the half, but North Greenville went on a 10-2 run to take the lead by a 29-28 margin. Mount Olive quickly reclaimed the advantage after scoring six of the following eight points before a three-pointer from the Crusaders tied the game at 34-34 heading into the break.
In the second half, the Trojans scored five consecutive points to pull ahead 39-34 before NGU closed the gap to 39-37 at the 16:04 mark. UMO mounted an 8-2 run, led by a pair of threes from Roberts, to stretch the lead to 47-39 before Mount Olive went three of five from the field to take a 56-43 advantage with 10:24 left. The Crusaders totaled nine unanswered points to cut the deficit to 56-52, but the Trojans countered with a 12-2 run, including a trio of three-pointers, to build a 68-54 lead. Over the next four minutes, North Greenville trimmed the deficit to 74-68, but UMO sealed the win at the free-throw line with perfect six of six shooting.
UMO shot at a 44.3 percent clip (27 of 61) from the floor while going 16 of 20 (80 percent) from the free throw line. Meanwhile, North Greenville finished the game shooting 32.3 percent (21 of 65) and converted 19 of 22 (86.4 percent) from the charity stripe. Both teams had 40 rebounds, and the Trojans scored 32 points in the paint and the Crusaders totaled 19 points off the bench.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics