Mount Olive Slips Past Chowan 79-77

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MURFREESBORO, N.C. - Brandon Streeter hit a pair of tie-breaking free throws with four seconds remaining to lift No. 20 Mount Olive to a 79-77 victory over Chowan in non-conference men's basketball Thursday at Murfreesboro, N.C. Streeter finished with 20 points, while Kendrick Easley led four Trojans in double figures with 21 points. Mount Olive held on for its first road win of the year, despite surrendering a 20-point second-half lead.

Three-pointers by Easley and Justin Melton sparked Mount Olive (5-1) to an early eight-point margin and the lead grew to as many as 13 after Aking Elting's steal and Easley's layup put the Trojans on top 28-15 with 7:59 left in the first half. Chowan (4-4) cut the deficit down to single digits and Chris Kenon's layup with 2:34 remaining pulled the Hawks within 37-34.

Elting, a junior college transfer playing in his first game as a Trojan, scored Mount Olive's next five points and Easley hit a pair of free throws with 1:18 left to extend the Trojans' lead to seven. But Montino Williams converted a three-point play with five seconds left to pull Chowan within 44-40 at halftime.

Mount Olive opened the second half with a 14-4 run as Melton's three-pointer with 15:20 left to play gave the Trojans a 58-44 lead. Chowan pulled within 10, but Streeter scored eight points during a 10-0 run and Mount Olive took its biggest lead at 68-48 with 11:27 remaining.

A pair of three-pointers by Kenon sparked a Chowan run as the Hawks cut the lead in half, limiting Mount Olive to only seven points during a span of seven minutes. Easley's basket with 4:18 remaining extended the lead to 77-65, but that would be the Trojans' last field goal of the game.

Kenon hit two more three-pointers 15 seconds apart and Chowan was within 77-71 with 3:46 left in the game. A field goal and a pair of free throws cut Mount Olive's lead to two and Kenon's steal set up Aaron Scott's jumper with 50 seconds left to cap a 12-0 run and tie the game 77-77.

Streeter kept the Trojans' ensuing possession alive with an offensive rebound off a blocked shot, then drew a foul to go to the line with four seconds left. Streeter, who was 4-for-8 from the line up to that point, hit both free throws to put Mount Olive back on top.

Chowan missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer.

Streeter was 7-for-9 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds to share game-high honors with Easley. Mike Holloman added 14 points and Melton finished with 11 points. Holloman and Melton also had four steals apiece. Easley (5-for-5), Holloman (4-for-4) and Streeter accounted for all of Mount Olive's 19 free throw attempts.

Kenon led all scorers with 22 points for Chowan, while Jaleel Nelson added 17 points and Scott finished with 13.

Mount Olive is off for Christmas Break before returning to action December 28-29 to compete in the Lenoir-Rhyne College Classic. The Trojans face tournament host Lenoir-Rhyne December 28 at 6 p.m., then take on Catawba December 29 at 2 p.m.