Mount Olive Men Lose Close Game

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Kendrick Easley scored 31 points, including the go-ahead basket with nine seconds left, but Pfeiffer hit a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining to defeat No. 24 Mount Olive 111-110 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Monday at Misenheimer, N.C. The loss snaps Mount Olive's nine-game winning streak, but the Trojans remain atop the conference standings, a half-game ahead of Pfeiffer.

Brandon Streeter scored 15 of his 21 points in the final seven minutes of the game for the Trojans.

Mount Olive (14-4 overall, 10-2 Conference Carolinas) scored the first four points of the game, but Pfeiffer (13-4, 9-2) answered with a 10-1 run. Aking Elting's three-pointer got the Trojans as close as two points, but Chris Woods' basket with 12:53 left in the half gave Pfeiffer a double-digit lead at 24-14.

Back-to-back baskets by Mike Holloman brought the Trojans within six and Easley answered a Pfeiffer three-pointer with the first of his five three-pointers to cut the Falcons' lead to 27-21 with 11:47 remaining. But Quentin Maxwell connected on a three-pointer and the lead grew back to 11.

Easley scored the game's next five points and Josh Brown answered a pair of Chris Woods free throws with back-to-back three-pointers to pull Mount Olive within 36-34 with 8:26 left before the break. Pfeiffer built the lead to four, but Montel Jones cut the lead in half and Easley's three-point play with 5:26 remaining put the Trojans on top 46-45.

The lead was short-live as Derrick Truesdale converted a three-point play and Jeff Pettiway followed with a three-pointer to spark an 8-1 Pfeiffer run. The Falcons built the lead to 59-50 with 2:37 remaining when Shaughnnon Washum and Jones combined to hit 4-of-4 free throws.

It was an eight-point game when Easley hit a three-pointer and Justin Melton connected on a pair of free throws to bring Mount Olive within 63-60 at halftime.

The Trojans' 60 first-half points was the most since scoring 58 in the first half against Concord December 1, 2004. The Trojans last eclipsed the 60-point mark February 9, 2004, against Pfeiffer. The Trojans scored 64 points in the first half of that contest, a 108-105 Mount Olive victory that ended in Marcus West's 80-foot heave at the buzzer.

Both teams spent much of the first half on the free throw line. Mount Olive was 16-for-20 from the line in the first half, while Pfeiffer was 21-for-27.

Holloman put Mount Olive back on top in the first minute after intermission with a field goal, a steal and a pair of free throws as the Trojans opened the second half with a 9-2 run. Pfeiffer rallied to regain the lead, but Brown hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Mount Olive a 79-76 lead with 11:58 left to play.

The lead changed hands five times in a span of two minutes as Easley's three-pointer gave the Trojans an 82-81 advantage with 11:16 remaining. Pettiway put Pfeiffer back on top with a pair of free throws and Thomas Carr sandwiched a pair of Easley free throws with a pair of three-pointers to give the Falcons an 89-84 lead.

Pfeiffer built the lead to as many as seven points when Brandon Streeter's three-point play with 7:07 remaining brought Mount Olive back within three at 98-95. The Falcons' reached the century mark on a basket by Woods, but Streeter answered with a pair of baskets to close the gap to 100-99 with 4:54 left to play.

After a Pfeiffer basket, Streeter scored again to put the Trojans over the 100-point mark for the second time this season. Mount Olive defeated Pfeiffer 101-82 in the first meeting in November at Kornegay Arena.

Pfeiffer extended the lead to two with a free throw, but Easley hit a three-pointer on the Trojans' next possession to give Mount Olive a 104-103 lead with 3:28 remaining. After Woods put the Falcons back on top, Justin Melton kept a possession alive with an offensive rebound on a missed three-pointer and found Streeter inside to give the Trojans a 106-105 advantage.

Basket by Woods and Robert McGriff gave Pfeiffer a three-point lead before a basket by Streeter pulled Mount Olive within 109-108 with 1:20 left to play. The Trojans made a defensive stop, but a turnover with 37 seconds left gave the ball back to Pfeiffer.

Mount Olive got another chance when McGriff missed a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left. An offensive rebound kept the Trojans' possession alive and Easley scored from inside to put Mount Olive back on top 110-109 with nine seconds remaining.

But McGriff was fouled with five seconds left and capitalized on his second chance, hitting the tying and game-winning free throws.

Pfeiffer was 33-for-45 from the line for the game, while Mount Olive went 26-for-32.

Holloman finished with 15 points, while Brown added 14 points. The Trojans shot 51.4 percent (37-for-72) from the field, the eighth consecutive game over 50 percent.

Pettiway led six Pfeiffer players in double figures with 21 points, while Woods added 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting.

Mount Olive returns to action Thursday as the Trojans play host to St. Andrews in a Conference Carolinas match-up. The Trojans won the first meeting 87-82 in Laurinburg, N.C., earlier this month. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena. Pfeiffer plays host to Limestone Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Conference Carolinas action.