Mount Olive rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit, but was unable to overcome a late 11-2 North Greenville run as the Trojans fell to the Crusaders 85-80 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Monday at Kornegay Arena. Monday's contest was Mount Olive's conference opener and was the Trojans' third game in the last four days.
Junior point guard Dory Hines came within three assists of the first triple-double in Trojan men's basketball history, finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Deshaune Green led five Trojans in double figures with 16 points. North Greenville's Chris Dean and Tyshawn Patterson shared game-high honors with 23 points apiece.
Mount Olive (1-2 overall, 0-1 Conference Carolinas) was down 52-44 with 17:02 left to play when Green scored the final six points of an 8-2 run as the Trojans closed within a field goal. Dontell Brite's open-court steal and layup put Mount Olive up 58-57 with 10:59 remaining, the Trojans' first lead since late in the first half.
Jordan McCain answered Dean's three-pointer with a three of his own to give the Trojans a 61-60 lead. Tyshaun Patterson hit 1-of-2 field goals for North Greenville to tie the game and Tim Franklin's layup with 8:18 left put the Crusaders ahead to stay.
Green's putback with 5:04 left pulled Mount Olive within 72-70, but Jimmy Ellis and Keith Johnson canned back-to-back three-pointers and Dean's layup gave North Greenville its biggest lead at 80-70 with 3:16 to play.
McCain and Brite combined on 5-of-6 free throws to cut the margin in half with under two minutes left. North Greenville missed a three-point attempt with the shot clock down to five seconds, but Philip Brown pulled down the offensive rebound to keep the possession alive. North Greenville went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 43 seconds to seal the win. Darrell Patterson hit a three-pointer for Mount Olive with 0.9 seconds left.
Mount Olive scored the first five points of the game, but that was their biggest lead of the game. Green's putback with 9:30 left in the half gave the Trojans a 21-17 lead before Ellis rattled home a three-pointer to cap a five-point North Greenville run and put the Crusaders back on top.
Brite's steal set up Mahamed Ibrahim's layup to give the Trojans a 23-22 advantage with 7:53 left, but North Greenville answered with another 5-0 run and Mount Olive never led again in the half. After Dory Hines' steal and layup with 5:05 left tied the game 27-27, Tyshaun Patterson answered with a three-pointer to put North Greenville on top for the remainder of the half.
North Greenville hit three more three-pointers in the final four minutes of the half and D.J. Vereen's two free throws with 1:03 remaining gave the Crusaders their biggest lead of the half at 43-35. Ewon Wright hit a three for Mount Olive with 47 seconds left and the Trojans trailed 43-38 at halftime.
Ibrahim finished with 13 points for Mount Olive, McCain had 12 and Darrell Patterson added 11. Green, who had a game-high four steals, narrowly missed his second double-double in three games with nine rebounds, seven on the offensive end. Mount Olive finished with 29 offensive boards and outrebounded North Greenville 52-43, but the Trojans were 33-for-91 from the field for 36.3 percent.
Franklin shared game-honors with seven assists for North Greenville and was among five Crusaders in double figures with 10 points. Johnson and Ellis added 11 points apiece.
Mount Olive is off for Thanksgiving Break, then returns to action November 27 as the Trojans play host to King in a rematch of the semifinal round of last year's Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament. Mount Olive defeated the second-seeded Tornado 78-74 on King's home court. Tuesday's contest will mark King's first appearance at Kornegay Arena since the 2007 Pickle Classic. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.