MOUNT OLIVE – Behind six players in double-figures on Feb. 11, the Trojans cruised past Lees-McRae in a 101-80 victory in Conference Carolinas action on Senior Day in Kornegay Arena.
With the win, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team improved to 9-16 overall with a 7-10 mark in conference play. UMO moves into eighth place in the league standings after collecting its third straight win over the Bobcats. Meanwhile, Lees-McRae fell to 10-14 this season with a 6-10 record in league play.
Senior Kaeleb Carter scored a season-high 23 points on seven of 13 from the field while converting five of seven from three-point range. He added five rebounds and one assist in 21 minutes. Over the previous five contests, Carter is averaging 13.8 points per game while shooting 52.3 percent (23 of 44) during that stretch.
Freshman Colin Radcliffe dropped 17 points on five of nine attempts with four three-pointers in 17 minutes, while teammate Aaron Murphy tallied a season-high 15 points with five rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes off the bench. Freshman Shane Peterson registered 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 26 minutes. Senior Michael Brown posted 12 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals while playing all 40 minutes. Fellow senior Trayvon Ferrell totaled 12 points, five rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes.
In the first half, Mount Olive built an early 13-5 advantage after sinking four of five from the field with Carter leading the way with eight points. The Bobcats trimmed the deficit to 16-11 over the next two minutes. The Trojans countered with a 7-2 run to extend the advantage to 23-13 at the 12:57 mark before maintaining at least a 10-point lead over the next eight-plus minutes. With 4:41 left in the half, the Trojans registered six consecutive points to build the advantage to 42-26 before taking a 46-34 edge into the break.
UMO quickly stretched the lead to 58-39 in the opening three minutes of the second half after converting a trio of three-pointers. Lees-McRae worked the deficit down to 61-47 at the 15:19 mark, but the Mount Olive offense remained in rhythm with an 8-0 run to lead 69-47. Both sides traded baskets over the next five minutes before a 12-5 rally by Mount Olive established the largest lead of the contest at 96-66 with 4:25 remaining. The Trojans continued to control possession in the final minutes of the game to secure the 101-80 win.
UMO shot at a 45.5 percent clip (30 of 66) from the floor while going 28 of 32 (87.5 percent) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Lees-McRae finished the game shooting 46.8 percent (29 of 62) and converted seven of 27 (25.9 percent) from beyond the arc. The Trojans finished with a 41-32 rebounding advantage and totaled 38 points off the bench.