Darrell Patterson led six players in double figures with 20 points and hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final 12 seconds as Mount Olive outlasted Belmont Abbey 107-101 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Wednesday at Belmont, N.C. Kendall Hargrove recorded his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Mount Olive (13-10 overall, 10-7 Conference Carolinas) led 94-84 with 1:47 left to play after Patterson hit a pair of free throws. Belmont Abbey (18-7, 11-6) cut the Trojans' lead in half as Jay Council hit a three-pointer and Tyshawn Good hit a layup to pull the Crusaders within 95-90 with 1:18 remaining.
Hargrove hit a pair of free throws on Mount Olive's next possession, but Belmont Abbey answered with a Tim Mason three-pointer to cut the Trojans' lead to 97-93 with 48 seconds left. Mount Olive beat the Crusaders' defense as Patterson found Mahamed Ibrahim for a dunk and the Trojans reached the century mark as Dontrell Brite hit a pair of free throws with 38 seconds left to make the score 101-93.
After a Belmont Abbey turnover, Mount Olive built the lead back to double digits at 103-93 on two more free throws by Brite with 22 seconds left. Terrone Sheffey hit a three-pointer for Belmont Abbey, but Patterson hit two more free throws with 12 seconds left to give the Trojans a 105-96 lead.
Belmont Abbey threatened again as Sheffey hit another three-pointer and Good hit a layup after a Trojan turnover to pull the Crusaders within 105-101 with seven seconds left. Another Mount Olive turnover led to another Sheffey three-point attempt, but the shot was off the mark. Patterson grabbed the rebound and sealed the win with two more free throws with one second left.
In the first half, three-pointers by Patterson and Dontrell Brite helped Mount Olive vault out to an 18-6 lead in the first four minutes of the contest. Belmont Abbey got as close as four points before Ewon Wright's three-pointer and Hargrove's dunk pushed the Trojans' lead to 27-18 with 11:07 remaining.
Belmont Abbey answered on Justin Kuhlman's three-pointer and Tyshawn Good's jumper with 7:56 left gave the Crusaders their first lead of the game at 30-29. The next four minutes saw five ties and five lead changes before two free throws by Hargrove with 4:09 left broke a 40-40 tie and put the Trojans ahead for the remainder of the half.
Deshaune Green's layup with 1:04 remaining gave Mount Olive a five-point lead, but that would be its final points of the half as the Trojans settled for a 47-46 lead at the break.
The game was tied 57-57 with 15:29 left in the contest when Ewon Wright hit a pair of three-pointers and scored the first eight points of a 10-2 Mount Olive run to put the Trojans ahead to stay.
Mount Olive scored 60 points in the second half, surpassing its scoring output in its previous game Saturday at King. Wednesday's win moves the Trojans within one game of fourth place in the Conference Carolinas standings. The top four teams at the end of the regular season host first round games in the conference tournament, which gets underway March 4. The Trojans have clinched one of the eight berths in the tournament.
Ibrahim finished with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting, while Brite added 13 points and six assists. Green and Wright scored 11 points apiece and Jordan McCain added 10 points. Mount Olive shot 55.1 percent from the field.
Belmont Abbey also placed six players in double figures, led by Good with a game-high 33 points.
Mount Olive plays its third straight game - all on the road - against a top four team in the Conference Carolinas standings as the Trojans travel to Gaffney, S.C., Saturday to take on Limestone, which entered Wednesday's play tied with Belmont Abbey for third in the conference. Mount Olive won the first meeting 99-78 January 26 at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.