YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Redshirt sophomore Redford Dunton made the game-winning shot with three seconds left, as the Trojans secured a hard-fought 59-57 win at Young Harris in Conference Carolinas action on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the University of Mount Olive men’s basketball program improves to 2-12 this season with a 1-3 mark in conference play. The Trojans capture their first road win of the year and hold a 3-1 record all-time versus the Mountain Lions. Meanwhile, Young Harris falls to 8-6 overall behind a 3-2 record in league action.
Dunton scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting while converting six-of-eight from the free-throw line. He also registered three rebounds, seven assists, and two steals in 29 minutes. Dunton tallied 17 of his 18 points in the second half and ranks second on the team with 14.6 points per game this season.
Sophomore Shane Peterson finished with 18 points, two rebounds, and two steals in 37 minutes. Freshman Kahlif Barnes totaled eight points, four rebounds, one assist, and one block in 21 minutes.
Young Harris established an early 7-5 edge in the opening three-plus minutes before the Trojans countered with eight unanswered points to take a 13-7 lead. Mount Olive eventually built the lead to 17-9 with 8:57 left in the first half, but the Mountain Lions went on a 9-2 rally to cut the deficit to 19-18. Following a made free-throw by the Trojans, Young Harris scored seven straight points to finish the first half with a 25-20 advantage at the break.
In the second half, the Mountain Lions built a 30-22 lead in the initial minutes before Peterson hit back-to-back three-pointers to close the gap to 30-28. Young Harris responded with a 7-2 run, but the Trojans countered with nine consecutive points on four-of-four shooting to reclaim the lead, 39-37. The Mountain Lions quickly scored five points to hold a 42-39 lead before UMO tallied eight points to take a 47-42 edge with 9:40 to go. Young Harris tied the game at 47-47 with just over six minutes left before the sides traded points down the stretch. Following a timeout with 21 seconds left, Dunton hit a spin move on a drive to the hoop before dropping the floater into the basket with three seconds to go, 59-57.
Mount Olive finished the contest shooting 18-of-51 (35.3 percent) from the floor while converting 76.0 percent (19-of-25) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Young Harris posted a .390 field goal percentage (16-of-41) and made 22-of-27 (81.5 percent) from the charity stripe. The Trojans finished with a 30-28 rebounding advantage while scoring 24 points off 15 forced turnovers. The Mountain Lions totaled 20 points in the paint and 21 points off the bench.
Sophomore Cole Deptula tallied 17 points while converting 10-of-11 from the free-throw line in 30 minutes. Sophomore Carl Cleveland produced 14 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, while junior Karl Chavis finished with 13 points, two rebounds, one assist, and two steals in 29 minutes off the bench.
The Trojans are idle for a week before returning to the court on Saturday, Jan. 13, at North Greenville for Conference Carolinas play at 4 p.m.