MOUNT OLIVE – The Trojans saw a pair of game-tying three-pointers fail to drop in the final seconds in an 81-78 loss against King on Feb. 4 in Conference Carolinas action in Kornegay Arena on Church Night.
With the loss, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team fell to 8-15 overall with a 6-9 mark in conference action. With five games remaining in the regular season, the Trojans will be battling to secure a postseason berth over the next two weeks. Meanwhile, King improved to 6-15 this season with a 5-9 record in league play.
Senior Michael Brown scored a game-high 21 points on six of 13 from the field, including 18 points in the second half. The Virginia native also tallied three rebounds, six assists and two steals in 39 minutes. Brown continues to be one of three players in the conference averaging over 21.0 points per game while leading the league with 149 assists.
Freshman Shane Peterson produced 15 points behind five three-pointers and added five rebounds in 27 minutes. Senior Kaeleb Carter posted 12 points on five of 13 shooting with eight rebounds, three steals and one block in 19 minutes. Fellow senior Trayvon Ferrell reached double figures with 12 points while registering three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.
In the first half, the Tornado built an early 12-7 advantage in the initial six-plus minutes after converting five of seven from the field. UMO rallied with six straight points and took the lead on a three-point play from Carter after making a driving layup to make the score 13-12. King countered with a 14-3 run to take a double-digit lead of 26-16 at the 6:25 mark, while the Trojans shot just one of 11 from the field during the six-minute stretch. Mount Olive closed the gap with seven unanswered points to trail by a 26-23 margin before both teams traded points over the next four minutes. The Tornado made a layup as time expired to take a 39-35 advantage into the break.
The Trojans trimmed the deficit to 47-46 at the 16:13 mark before King pulled away once again with a 9-3 run behind a trio of three-pointers to establish a 56-49 lead. Mount Olive responded to tie the game at 57 with an 8-1 rally, all points scored by Brown, with just over 12 minutes left in regulation. The Tornado restored its lead with an 11-2 run before UMO closed the gap to 73-72 at the 4:53 mark on a three-pointer from Peterson, but the Trojans were unable to capture the lead heading into the final seconds. Following a timeout with 11 seconds left, Carter missed back-to-back threes to tie the game, as King escaped with an 81-78 victory.
UMO shot at a 38 percent clip (27 of 71) from the floor while going just 11 of 42 (26.2 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, King finished the game shooting 48.5 percent (32 of 66) and converted eight of 22 (36.4 percent) from beyond the arc. The Tornado finished with a 47-39 rebounding advantage and 40 points in the paint while the Trojans scored 25 points off 18 forced turnovers.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics