MURFREESBORO – The University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team overcame a 19-point deficit in the second half to surge past Chowan by a score of 97-90 in the second round of the Atlantic Casualty Conference Carolinas Championship on Feb. 27.
With the win, the Trojans improved to 13-17 this year and avenged a pair of double-digit losses in the regular season against Chowan. Mount Olive advanced to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament to face No. 4 Belmont Abbey in Spartanburg, S.C. on March 3 at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, the Hawks finished the season with a 14-12 overall record.
Senior Michael Brown scored a game-high 37 points on 10 of 20 shooting while converting 12 of 13 from the free-throw line. He also recorded three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 40 minutes. Brown set the all-time school record for single-season points with 697. He passes 2022 Hall of Famer Kendrick Easley, who held the record with 684 points. This season, he has recorded five games with at least 30 points while averaging 23.2 points per game.
Fellow senior Trayvon Ferrell totaled 13 points on 5 of 12 shots with six rebounds in 28 minutes, while junior Derreco Miller finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off the bench. Freshman Shane Peterson also was in double figures with 12 points and five rebounds in 34 minutes.
In the first half, Brown scored the opening basket with a three-pointer before the Hawks made a perfect six of six from the floor, taking a 15-8 lead with 17:06 left. The Trojans countered with five consecutive points to trail by a 15-13 margin before tying the contest 21-21 with a layup by Miller. At the 12:29 mark of the first half, Chowan started a 15-2 run on five of six shooting to establish a 36-23 lead. Brown hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 10 points before eventually shrinking the advantage to 44-37. The Hawks closed the half with a 9-2 run to take a 53-39 advantage into the break.
Chowan established the largest lead of the game at 19 points early in the second half, 60-41 with 17:47 left. The Trojans answered with a 22-5 rally over the next four-plus minutes, led by Brown and Ferrell with a combined 14 points, to trim the deficit to 65-63. Following a few lead changes and ties, the Hawks managed to build an 82-76 advantage with 5:53 remaining. The Mount Olive offense responded with an 11-2 run to steal the lead once again at 87-84 before securing the win at the free-throw line, 97-90.
UMO finished the contest shooting 42.5 percent (31 of 73) from the floor while converting 23 of 27 (85.2 percent) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Chowan posted a 51.5 field goal percentage (35 of 68) and made 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The Hawks held a 43-35 rebounding advantage with 38 points in the paint, while the Trojans totaled 28 bench points.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics