Jordan McCain scored a game-high 20 points and combined with Darrell Patterson for 17 points during a 19-3 second-half run as Mount Olive pulled away for an 86-66 victory over Coker in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. McCain hit back-to-back three-pointers at the start of the run and Patterson scored the final 11 points of the Trojans' run. The win was Mount Olive's 11th in its last 13 games.
Mount Olive (12-9 overall, 9-6 Conference Carolinas) saw a nine-point second-half lead cut down to 45-42 with 15:30 left in the game before the Trojans started pulling away. The lead reached double figures at 54-44 with 11:51 remaining on Mahamed Ibrahim's layup off of Dontrell Brite's steal, drive, double head fake and dish.
Coker (12-10, 9-7) got as close as 63-55 after Julian Nelson hit a pair of free throws with 7:32 left. But Mount Olive would hold the Cobras to just three free throws over the next five minutes.
After Deshaune Green's putback built the margin back to double digits, McCain connected on three-pointers on Mount Olive's next two possessions to extend the lead to 71-55. Patterson then took over, hitting a three-pointer, a 17-foot jumper and 6-of-6 free throws as Mount Olive's lead ballooned to 82-58 with 2:52 remaining. Both teams emptied their benches for the remainder of the contest.
Mount Olive overcame an early six-point deficit in the first half and McCain's three-pointer with 7:56 left gave the Trojans their biggest lead of the half at 23-14. Coker cut the margin to five as Mount Olive was held to a single free throw over the next four-plus minutes. The field goal drought ended on Deshaune Green's putback on a possession that saw five offensive rebounds as Mount Olive led 26-19 with 3:37 left in the half.
Ibrahim's three-pointer helped the Trojans extend their lead back to nine, but Andrew Morris hit a three-pointer for Coker with 35 seconds left as Mount Olive settled for a 33-28 halftime lead. The three-pointer was Morris' fourth of the first half.
The margin never fell below three points after halftime.
Patterson finished with 18 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line. Ibrahim added 16 points, while Green tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Green recorded steals on three consecutive Coker possessions in the first half.
Julian Nelson and Errick Bethel led Coker with 15 points apiece, while Morris added 12 points. Sharod Williams pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Mount Olive returns to the site of last year's Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinal round as the Trojans travel to Bristol, Tenn. to take on King in conference action. The Trojans defeat King 78-74 in last year's semifinal to advance to the title game. In this year's first meeting between the two teams, the Trojans fell to the Tornado 73-66 November 27 at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 4 p.m.