Jordan McCain led five Mount Olive players in double figures as the Trojans rolled to a 99-78 Conference Carolinas men's basketball win over Limestone Saturday afternoon at Kornegay Arena. Deshaune Green and Darrell Patterson added 14 points apiece, while Kendall Hargrove finished with 12 and Mahamed Ibrahim, 11.
The victory is the Trojans' seventh in eight games and moves Mount Olive (8-8 overall, 5-5 CC) back to .500 overall after a 1-7 start to the season.
The Trojans ended much of the drama early, as Ibrahim and McCain made three-pointers during a 9-0 run to start the game. The Trojans' defense forced Limestone (11-6, 7-4) into turnovers and difficult shots. It took the Saints 3:32 to get on the scoreboard. Moments later, the Trojans built the lead to double digits on layups by Hargrove and Dontrell Brite.
A 10-2 run capped off by A Ibrahim dunk and Brite's three-pointer stretched the lead to 33-14 before intermission. Limestone threatened to get back in the game several times early in the second, but the Saints never got closer than 10.
The Saints' leading scorer, Charles Blue kept the Saints within arm's length early in the half, scoring 12 of his game-high 19 points. Blue could not offset Mount Olive's balance. Nine Trojans scored in the first half and 11 of the 14 players to see time on the court scored.
The Trojans led by as much as 24 before the final buzzer, getting a Hargrove steal and dunk, then a three-pointer from Garett Burkhead.
The Trojans built their lead early on defense and offensive rebounding. Limestone hit just 40 percent from the field before halftime and gave up 11 offensive boards to Mount Olive. Limestone came into the contest as the conference's best in rebound margin. The Trojans finished with 17 second-chance points.
Defensively, the interior work of Deshaune Green and Mike Moore made getting to the basket difficult for the Saints. Green hauled in five rebounds and drew a pair of charges against Limestone, while Moore added six rebounds, two blocks and a steal to a career-high seven points.
Dory Hines added nine assists and two steals.
Mount Olive returns to action Thursday night when Barton comes to Kornegay Arena for a 7:30 p.m. start.