Darrell Patterson hit three 3-pointers during an early 21-0 run and Mount Olive went on to record its first conference victory of the year as the Trojans defeated Lees-McRae 112-70 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Saturday at Banner Elk, N.C. Patterson scored 22 of his 27 points in the first half to help spark the Trojans to their third consecutive win and their highest point total in two years.
Mount Olive (4-7 overall, 1-4 Conference Carolinas) trailed by four points in the early going before Patterson's three-pointer with 16:34 left in the first half tied the game 8-8 and ignited the Trojans' run. Dominique Reed scored Mount Olive's next six points and Patterson's second three with 12:13 left gave the Trojans' their first double-digit lead at 19-8.
Deshaune Green's steal led to a Patterson layup and Patterson's third three-pointer capped Mount Olive's run of 21 unanswered points and gave the Trojans a 26-8 lead with 10:36 lead. Lees-McRae (0-11, 0-5) ended a seven-minute scoring drought on its ensuing possession on Charles Clarke's putback.
Mahamed Ibrahim answered with a three-pointer and the margin reached the 20-point mark for the first time as another three by Patterson extended Mount Olive's lead to 40-20 with 6:24 remaining. The Trojans took their biggest lead of the half at 46-22 on Kendall Hargrove's dunk with 4:22 left.
Lees-McRae used Daniel Sepokas' 3-for-3 three-point shooting to get as close as 16 points, but Patterson was fouled on a three-point attempt with two seconds left and hit all three free throws as the Trojans went into the locker room with a 57-38 halftime lead.
Mount Olive scored five points in the opening minute of the second half and built the lead to 62-38 on a layup by Green and Jordan McCain's second three-pointer of the contest as the margin never fell below 20 points the rest of the way. The Trojans reached the century mark with 3:27 left to play when Ewon Wright's three-pointer gave Mount Olive a 101-68 lead. The final score was the Trojans' biggest lead of the contest.
The Trojans last reached the 100-point mark in a 100-78 victory over Brevard in the 2011 Mount Olive College Pickle Classic. Mount Olive surpassed 110 points for the first time since the 2009-10 season, when the Trojans achieved the scoring feat on three occasions, each time against Pfeiffer.
Patterson came within matching his career high of 28 points, set two games ago in Mount Olive's victory over Wingate. Patterson has scored at least 20 points in four of his last six games and is averaging 22.0 points per contest during the span.
Ibrahim finished with 14 points for Mount Olive, while Green and Wright added 11 points apiece. Dory Hines tallied nine points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Trojans, and freshman Dontrell Brite dished out a career-high seven assists. Dominique Reed narrowly missed his first collegiate double-double with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds as Mount Olive outrebounded the Bobcats 55-37.
Sepokas led Lees-McRae with 24 points, including 11 points from the free throw line. Clarke pulled down a team-high eight rebounds for the Bobcats.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Queens in a Conference Carolinas match-up. The Trojans won both meetings last year. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena, immediately after the Trojan women's basketball team's game against Queens.