Ewon Wright scored eight of his team-high 16 points in the final four minutes and his jumper with less than two minutes left put Mount Olive ahead to stay as the Trojans held off nationally 12th-ranked Augusta State 72-69 in non-conference men's basketball Sunday at Kornegay Arena. Wright was 4-of-8 from three-point range to help the Trojans win their second straight.
Mount Olive (3-7) led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but Augusta State (6-2) used a 7-0 run to tie the game 59-59 with 4:47 left in the game. After Jordan McCain's free throw broke the tie, Wright sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around a Ryan Weems three to give Mount Olive a 66-62 lead with 3:22 remaining.
Weems answered with a jumper for Augusta State and D'Angelo Boyce connected on a pair of free throws with 2:43 left to tie the game 66-66. The Jaguars made a defensive stop, but missed a chance to take their lead of the game on their next possession.
Mount Olive pushed the ball down the court and Darrell Patterson found Wright for a short jumper with 1:53 left as the Trojans took the lead for good. Deshaune Green's basket with 20 seconds left made it a two-possession game, but Weems hit another three-pointer as Augusta State pulled within 70-69 with 13 seconds remaining.
The Trojans missed the front end of a one-and-one, but kept possession when the rebound went out of bounds off of Augusta State. Jordan McCain hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left and Boyce's three-point attempt at the buzzer was just off the mark.
Mount Olive led by 10 at halftime and Darrell Patterson's three-pointer with 15:22 left to play gave the Trojans their biggest lead at 49-35. Augusta State cut the lead in half as Devon Wright-Nelson's three-point play capped a run of seven unanswered points in a span of just 77 seconds.
Mahamed Ibrahim's three-pointer stopped the Jaguars' run and built the Trojans' lead back to double digits, but that would be Mount Olive's only field goal in a span of nearly eight minutes.
Roman Hill scored six straight points for Augusta State and Wright-Nelson's jumper with 7:56 remaining pulled the Jaguars within 54-52. Ibrahim ended Mount Olive's scoring drought with a short jumper and another three-pointer to extend the Trojans' lead to 59-52 before Augusta State rallied to tie.
In the first half, Wright knocked down three-pointers on Mount Olive's first two possessions and the Trojans led for the entire half. Ibrahim's basket with 3:19 left in the half capped a 9-0 run and gave the Trojans their first double-digit lead at 34-23. The margin never fell below eight and Dory Hines' tip-in at the buzzer gave the Trojans a 38-28 halftime lead.
Wright was 4-for-8 from three-point range, while Ibrahim and Patterson each added three 3-pointers. Ibrahim finished with 15 points, Patterson finished with 13 points and Green added 10 points and three blocked shots. Hines pulled down 12 rebounds to go with eight points and eight assists.
Weems led all players with 23 points for Augusta State, while Wright-Nelson added 16 points. Doby pulled down 10 points for the Jaguars and Travis Keel recorded six blocked shots.
Mount Olive resumes Conference Carolinas action Saturday as the Trojans travel to Banner Elk, N.C., to take on Lees-McRae. Tip-off is 4 p.m.