Dontrell Brite led five players in double figures with 20 points and helped Mount Olive pull away in the final minutes for a 94-82 victory over Pfeiffer in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. Jordan McCain added 17 points off the bench as he and Brite combined to hit 13-of-13 free throws. Wednesday's contest was the conference opener for both teams.
Mount Olive (5-2 overall, 1-0 Conference Carolinas) scored seven unanswered points off its transition game to build an 81-71 lead with 5:32 left in the game. McCain's three-pointer started the run, Brite set up a Kendall Hargrove layup with a steal and behind-the-back pass in the lane, and Hargrove finished the run with a dunk.
Pfeiffer (2-5, 0-1) answered with a 6-0 run, capped by two free throws each by A.J. Clark and Matt Ellwood to pull the Falcons within 81-77 with 4:12 remaining. Pfeiffer would get no closer, but the contest remained a two-possession game until Brite's layup with 1:45 left to play gave Mount Olive an 87-80 lead.
After a Pfeiffer turnover, McCain converted a three-point play with 1:29 remaining to push the Trojans' lead back to double figures to stay.
The first half saw six ties and neither team led by more than six points as Mount Olive led 43-42 at the break. The Trojans never trailed in the second half, but the game remained close until Dominique Reed's three-point play capped a 10-2 run and gave Mount Olive its first double-digit lead at 71-60 with 9:26 left to play.
Pfeiffer then held Mount Olive without a field goal over the next three minutes to get back into the game. Armin Omanovic hit all three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt and Silvere Aluko put back a missed shot to pull the Falcons within 72-69 with 7:43 remaining.
Brite answered with a pair of free throws and McCain's three-pointer ended Mount Olive's field goal drought and triggered the Trojans' run that built the lead back to double digits.
Reed finished with 14 points and a career-high five blocked shots, while Dory Hines notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hargrove added 11 points, while Kyle Rhodes narrowly missed his first double-double with nine points and seven rebounds. The Trojans outrebounded Pfeiffer 47-37.
Mike Smith led all players with 25 points for Pfeiffer, while Clark added 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Aluko and David McNair led the Falcons on the glass with nine boards apiece.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans play host to USC Aiken in a non-conference match-up. Tip-off is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena. Sunday afternoon, the Trojans head to Greenville, N.C., to take on Division I East Carolina.