Mount Olive erased a 17-point first-half deficit, but saw a nine-point second-half lead disappear as the Trojans fell to King 87-80 in double overtime in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. Jordan McCain scored a career-high 24 points and hit six of Mount Olive's 12 three-pointers, but the Trojans hurt themselves with 12-for-31 shooting from the free throw line. The Trojans entered Wednesday's contest as the lone unbeaten team in conference play.
Mount Olive (8-5 overall, 2-1 Conference Carolinas) trailed 27-10 with 6:41 left in the first half after Hunter LeVeau capped King's 16-0 run with a fastbreak one-handed slam dunk and a three-pointer. Mount Olive scored the final eight points of the first half to cut the Tornado's lead to single digits. Ewon Wright hit a three-pointer and a pair of free throws, and Dontrell Brite added a three-pointer with 1:22 remaining to pull the Trojans within 32-27 at halftime.
The Trojans trailed by six early in the second half when McCain capped a 10-0 run with a pair of three-pointers 29 seconds apart to give Mount Olive its first lead of the game at 45-41 with 12:57 left in regulation. McCain hit another three-pointer and Wright and Mike Moore also connected from beyond the arc as the Trojans took their biggest lead of the game at 58-49 with 8:29 left.
King (6-8, 3-1) got as close as five points, but Mount Olive built the lead to 65-56 on McCain's three-pointer with 4:07 left. King made it a single-possession game after back-to-back three-pointers by Logan Lyle pulled the Tornado within three.
After Dory Hines' free throw with 2:01 remaining made it a two-possession game, LeVeau hit another three for King to pull the Tornado within 66-65 with 1:14 left. Mount Olive turned the ball over with 42 seconds left, but King did likewise with 17 seconds remaining. The Tornado's Calvin Walker then stole the inbounds pass from the Trojan baseline and found Scottie Hendricks in the left corner for a go-ahead three-pointer with nine seconds remaining.
Mount Olive played for the last shot and Brite was fouled with four seconds remaining. Brite connected on both free throws to tie the game 68-68 and force the first overtime.
McCain's three-pointer with 1:23 left broke a 72-72 tie, but LeVeau tied the game with a three-pointer just seven seconds later. McCain put the Trojans back on top 77-75 with 42 seconds left on a jumper from the left wing just inside the arc. King tied the game with 13 seconds left when Shamarae Watts hit a layup and drew a foul, but he was unable to convert the three-point play.
The Trojans had a chance for the winning points, but turned the ball over just before the horn to send the game to a second overtime.
The second overtime was scoreless until King ended the drought on Watts' short jumper with 2:53 remaining. Mount Olive tied the game 79-79 on Moore's layup with 2:05 left, but Drew Standifer's layup with 1:43 remaining put the Tornado ahead to stay. Hines' free throw with 1:25 left pulled the Trojans within a point, but King hit six consecutive free throws to seal the win.
Brite finished with 15 points for Mount Olive, while Wright added 11 points and Hargrove recorded a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Hines finished with nine points, nine rebound and six assists. The Trojans' three-point percentage (42.9 percent on 12-for-28 shooting) exceeded the team's free throw percentage (38.7 percent).
LeVeau hit four 3-pointers and led King with 20 points. Lyle added 16 points and Standifer finished with 13 points, both off the bench. The Tornado's bench players combined for 42 points.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans travel to Tigerville, S.C., to take on North Greenville in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Tip-off is 4 p.m.